Skip to main content

Full text of "Roald Amundsen's "The North West passage" : being the record of a voyage of exploration of the ship "Gjoa" 1903-1907"

See other formats




1 903-1 907. 








SHIP "GJOA" 1903-1907 BY ROALD 


Vol. II 

^tba iorli: 











The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North ]^oi-k . . i 


Farewell to Gjoahavn . . . . . . • 52 


The North West Passage . . . . . .102 


The Third Winter . . . . . . . 146 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. On ski and 

snowshoes through Canada and Alaska . .212 


Conclusion . . . . , . . . .250 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land, By First Lieutenant 

GoDFRED Hansen, Vice-Commander of the Expedition 296 

Contributors, etc., to the Expedition Fund . . 365 

Index . 369 

VOL. ir. V A 2 



" Gjoa's " first meeting with Whalers after completing the 

North West Passage ..... Frontispiece 

Nechilli Eskimo in their Snow Hut . . . . .11 

Ahiva and Alo-Alo in Hunting Garb ..... 16 

Praederik and Wife in their Snow Hut . . . . .21 

Ogluli Eskimo repairing his Sledge ..... 28 

Young Nechilli Archers . . . . . . -31 

Nechilli Eskimo equipped for Seal Fishing .... 32 

The " Ilia " and the " Kiviuchyervi " 35 

Tattooed Arm. (Utkohikchyallik Eskimo woman) . . 36 
Tattooed Thigh. (Nechilli Eskimo woman) . . -37 

The " Owl " Trout Fishing -39 

Nechilli Eskimo Visitors on Board ..... 49 

Lindstrom being instructed in the Nechilli Eskimo Method 

of building Snow Huts . . . . . -53 

Scene on Deck. (Summer, 1904) ..... 67 

Festivities in the Cabin . . . . . . 7I5 73 

Rejoicings .......... 85 

Lieutenant Hansen as Photographer . . . . . 89 

Tonnich .......... 93 

The "Gjoa" in Summer. Gjoahavn, King William Land . 97 
Ichyuachtorvik Eskimo in his Kayak . . . . .111 

An Eskimo Ferry. (Kamiglu, 1905) . . . . -113 

The wrecked Whaler " Bonanza" at King Point . . . 139 
Eskimo at King Point ....... 144 

Roksi .......... 147 

Our Residence at King Point . . . . . .150 

The Register House at King Point 151 

In Winter Quarters at King Point . . . . -153 

The Colony at King Point . . . . . . -155 


Kunak and his Family. Summer at King Point 
King Point ....... 

The Land between King Point and Key Point 

The American Whaling Fleet at Herschel Island, 1905— 190 

Winter Life at Herschel Island, 1905 — 1906 

Theatrical Performance at Herschel Island 

Eskimo Tent at King Point 

A Coffee Party at King Point 

Gustav Wiik. (Winter, 1905) 

Spring at King Point . 

A Sumnier Scene at King Point 

Anakto. An Eskimo from Herschel Island 

Helmer Hansen. (Spring, 1905). 

Wiik's Grave at King Point . 

Manichya and Family at King Point . 

View from Top of King Point. (Summer) 

Mark, showing Position of Magnetic Instrument Stand (King 


The first two Whalers arriving at King Point, July nth, J906 
Roald Amundsen leaving Eagle City, 1906 
Jimmy, who took part in the Mail Trip 
Kappa, who also took part in the Mail Trip 
Tent used for the Mail Trip. 
Lee Provost's Hut 
Mound of Earth at Nome, containing 1,000,000 dols. worth 

of gold .... 
Fort Egbert, near Eagle City, Alaska 
We lowered our Flag to half-mast — the last Tribute from his 

Comrades .... 
Summer at King Point 
Vegetation at King Point . 
Eskimo Graves at Herschel Island 
Whalers' Graves at Herschel Island 
Eskimo Huts at Herschel Island . 
Tupsi. Eskimo Woman at Herschel Island 














Manni. (Summer, 1906) 
Anton Lund. (Spring, 1906) 
After our Arrival at Nome . 
Sports at Nome .... 
" Gjoa " at Anchor off Nome 
Lieutenant Hansen. (Spring, 1906) 
Peder Ristvedt. (Spring, 1906) . 
Our faithful Companions 
On the way to Victoria Land 
At Victoria Land 







King Haakon VH's Coast and Queen Maud's Sea; Lieu- 
tenant Hansen and Sergeant Ristvedt's sledge expedition 
in 1905 At the end of Vohi me 





The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

The seasons in these regions end just as abruptly as 
they set in. The Eskimo awakes one morning to find 
himself in the depth of winter, the sea is frozen over and 
the snow in places has formed drifts several yards deep. 
Now, there is no longer any excuse for delay in the 
building of snow-huts ; they have all suffered enough 
from the cold during the past night. Soon the whole 
population of the colony is out selecting building sites. 
The main thing is to find a sheltered place, screened to 
some extent from the wind and not too far from water, 
as otherwise every drop they require would have to be 
procured at the cost of trouble and fatigue. The con- 
dition of the snow also is an important consideration ; if 
it is not favourable the hut will not turn out a first-class 
job. The selection, therefore, of a good site for the hut 
is a very responsible task for the paterfamilias, and it 

Chapter VIII. 

often takes him a long time to decide on it. He care- 
fully tests the snow with an instrument specially intended 
for the purpose, called a " hervon." This is a stick made 
of reindeer horn, straightened out like a long walking- 
stick. It is about four feet long. At one end there is a 
handle of reindeer bone and at the other a musk-ox bone 
ferrule (Fig. 3, p. 299, Vol. I). In the course of his examina- 
tion he thrusts the "hervon " into the snow to " feel " its 
condition. It requires a very delicate sense of touch, 
developed by many years' practice and experience, to 
"feel " the condition of the snow. Anyone, by sticking 
a rod into the snow, can ascertain whether it is hard or 
soft, but to determine the number and condition of the 
various strata is a far more difficult task ; for it very 
often happens that the snow drifts consist of layers swept 
together at different times and in different weathers, con- 
sequently they vary considerably in character. In one 
and the same snow drift you may find snow that has 
been beaten together into a compact mass by a storm, 
together with snow that has settled down on it gently in 
calm weather, forming a very loose layer, which is quite 
unsuitable for building purposes. Over this again you 
may get a hard stratum, and it needs the skill of an 
Eskimo to distinguish the loose layers in the mass 
of drifted snow. The ideal condition is attained when 
the drift has a loose layer of snow about one foot thick 
on the top, and a uniform mass of the requisite hardness 
below to a sufficient depth for making the blocks 
required ; yet the snow must not be too brittle, as in 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

that case the blocks are likely to crumble in course of 

In order to obtain a correct idea as to how a hut 
should be built in the most approved style, we will pay 
a visit to the master-builder, Atikleura, He is standing 
just below the summit of the ridge beckoning to Nalungia 
to intimate that he has found a suitable spot and that she 
is to bring him his snow shovel. A glance at the site he 
has selected shows that Atikleura is a practical man as 
well as a man of taste. The position is well sheltered 
to the north, east, and west, and the crest of the ridge at 
the back will prove a barrier to the biting north wind. 
Towards the south the prospect is open and will have 
the full benefit of the sunshine. Close by there is a small 
lake or pond which will supply the most delicious drink- 
ing water for the family. The country hereabouts 
consists mainly of spacious plains and beautiful lakes. 
Meanwhile Nalungia has arrived with the snow shovel. 
This is made of a wooden board which Atikleura has 
obtained by barter from tribes dwelling further south, as 
there is no wood in Nechilli, nor does the smallest 
piece of drift wood ever find its way to these latitudes. 
The shovel is made in a very workmanlike manner, and 
excellently suited for its purpose as long as the snow is 
loose. For hard snow, of course, our iron spades would 
be preferable. It is strengthened at the lower end with 
reindeer bone. Now, the first thing that Atikleura does, 
is to shovel away the upper loose layer of snow, in the 
circumference within which he had planned to erect his 

^ B 2 

Chapter VIII. 

hut. He does so with a true eye, as the large number of 
huts he has bulk in his Hfetime has given him good 
practice. Then he draws out the knife which has 
hitherto been suspended by a loop on the bone peg at 
the back of his "anorak," It is quite a monster knife, 
enough to frighten anyone who had not seen it before. 
The blade is as large as that of an ordinary good sized 
butcher's knife and is made of iron, which has also come 
from the south ; the handle is about a foot long, and is of 
wood or bone. Taking the handle with both hands he 
commences to cut out his ice blocks for building the hut. 
These are cut out to a size about eiq-hteen inches wide, 
twenty-four inches long and four inches thick. If cut out 
in this way, the building site itself will yield sufficient 
material for the whole construction. 

It is a pleasure to see how a good builder cuts each 

block so that it just fits where he sets it. Atikleura is a 

veritable prodigy at this work. Not one of his blocks 

ever breaks in pieces, although he appears to cut them 

out without any particular care. Just a cut here and 

there, then a kick, and the thin neat block stands 

separated from the mass of snow. All the blocks from 

Atikleura's hand are so exactly equal in size that they 

look as if they had been accurately measured. The hut 

is built up in spirals in the form of a haycock or bee-hive, 

so that one layer of blocks rests on the previous one and 

extends a little further inwards. In joining the blocks, 

the sides must be fitted to each other so that the walls 

are perfectly tight. The builder's skill can be gauged by 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

the tightness of the hut ; but even with Atikleura s skill it 
is impossible to avoid some few small chinks here and 
there. It is Nalungia's task to fill up these chinks. For 
this purpose she works the shovelled-up loose snow until 
it is as fine as grated sugar, for it is only when it is in 
this state that it can be used for making the joints tight. 
It is thrown up against the blocks as soon as they are 
placed in position and fills in every little hole and crevice. 
The walls of the hut rise quickly. As the blocks are cut 
out the ground is cleared downwards, and as they are set 
into their places, they serve to increase the height of the 
walls of the cleared site. Atikleura looks as if he had been 
standing on his head in a flour-tub ; he is covered with 
snow all over ; his clothes, hair, and beard are white as 
chalk. His long gloves prevent the snow from getting 
into the sleeves of the " anorak." 

Building the roof of such a snow hut is a very com- 
plicated affair to the uninitiated. Many a snow-block 
did I get on my head when I essayed this work. The 
snow-blocks have to be set back gradually inwards, and 
when the work is nearing completion, the last blocks 
would appear to be literally suspended in the air, without 
any base or support. The last block (or keystone) which 
closes the roof, in the centre, is quite small, and in most 
cases triangular. To fix it in its position from the 
outside, it must first be juggled out through the hole 
which it is eventually to fill. This looks impossible, but 
the Eskimo achieves the impossible. With one hand 
he raises his block to the outside, through the hole at 


Chapter VIII. 

the top, and while holding it he cuts it into the shape of 
a wedee with the knife he holds in the other ; and when 
he lowers it into the hole it fits it as if it had been 
moulded for the purpose. 

Nalungia, aided by Errera, has perseveringly plastered 
over the outside of the hut with fine snow, so that 
it simply looks like a snow-heap. The outlines of 
the blocks are now quite concealed under the snow. 
But the hut is perfectly tight, as the fine snow works 
itself in wherever there is the slightest hole or crevice. 
The master-builder himself is not yet visible ; he is still 
busy in the interior of the hut, where he is now com- 
pletely built in. At last his long-bladed knife protrudes 
from the wall of snow, and with a rapid movement he 
cuts a hole just large enough for him to creep through. 
I am surprised to see how high up the wall he cuts the 
hole, as in all the huts I have hitherto seen, this entrance 
hole was quite down to the floor. Now Nalungia creeps 
in through the aperture, and I follow her to see what 
she is going to do in the way of further internal arrange- 
ments. I am at once enlightened as to why the aperture 
is made so high up ; Atikleura has cut it on a level with 
the sleeping-berth, to expedite the work of *' moving-in." 
He has constructed the sleeping-berth as follows : — He 
has first divided the hut by a row of snow-blocks into 
two compartments, of which the inner one is twice as 
larofe as the outer. He throws all the loose, refuse snow 
lying in the hut, into the inner compartment, until it 
reaches the level of the row^ of blocks, and there you 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

have the "bedstead " quite ready. At the opposite end 
of the hut is another small erection, made of two blocks 
set on edge, and a third laid across them, like a table 

Now commences the moving in, through the aperture 
above the sleeping-berth. Large quantities of skins are 
thrown in and slung topsy-turvy upon the sleeping place. 
Next comes all the furniture — a drying grid, water 
bucket, cooking pot, blubber lamp, provisions, blubber, 
meat and fish, and lastly the women's personal belongings 
— which I dare not specify more fully. Now it looks as 
if all were over and Mrs. Nalungia casts an enquiring 
look at me, as much as to say, " Are you going to creep 
out ? " I have no idea what is about to happen, but my 
curiosity prompts me to remain, thinking that anything 
much worse than I had seen before was hardly likely to 
occur ; but I certainly was a little taken aback when the 
hole over the sleeping berth was suddenly blocked up 
again from outside and I was alone, with one lady, in a 
closed-up hut. However, as Nalungia did not seem to 
mind it in the least, why should I trouble ? Disregarding 
me she set to work with a will. The heavy blubber 
lamp was first raised upon the little snow table near the 
wall opposite the sleeping berth. This lamp is made of 
a kind of stone they obtain from the Utkohikchyallik 
Eskimo ; it is carved in the form of a crescent and is 
heavy and clumsy. It is placed upon three pieces of 
bone inserted in the snow slab, so that the inner edge of 
the crescent is turned towards the interior of the hut 


Chapter VIII. 

while the outer edge is towards the wall. The blubber 
bag is now brought out and a piece of frozen blubber 
taken from it ; this is beaten with a specially made club 
of musk-ox bone until it is quite soft. Now she pro- 
duces, from one of her repositories, a little tuft of moss 
which she carefully soaks with seal-oil — ugh ! I remember 
with horror those mysterious "light pastilles" — and 
then she sets to work to get a light by rubbing pieces of 
wood together. The "pastille " soon sends out the most 
dazzling rays ; the crushed blubber is put into the lamp, 
and a wick of moss is laid alonaf the whole of the 
inner straight edge ; this is sprinkled with seal-oil 
and ignited by means of the burning tuft of moss. The 
whole wick is now blazing and a brilliant flame lights up 
the roomy hut. I ask myself what in the world she 
wants with this brilliant flame, as she has now finished 
arranging the hut, and I am almost on the point of up- 
braiding her for this waste of precious oil, but I refrain, 
as I remember that an Eskimo never does anything 
without good reason. In fact it soon becomes apparent 
that here, too, my judgment is premature. Gradually an 
oppressive heat spreads from the mighty flame, and now 
I understand that her object is to cause the newly-built 
hut to settle well down at the joints. As the result of 
the heat thus produced, the snow blocks gradually close 
up till they may be said to form one single continuous 

While this is o-oino- on, Naluno-ia makes o-ood use of 
her time, and gets the sleeping berth into proper order. 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

The waterproof kayak skins are laid next to the snow ; 
these have been taken from the kayaks in the autumn, 
and will keep the moisture of the snow away from the 
reindeer skins neatly arranged over them, and the 
sleeping berth looks quite cosy. Again she turns her 
attention to the lamp and trims the wick — this has to be 
done frequently ; the saucepan is then filled with snow 
and suspended over the flame by two cords, secured to 
two bones fastened into the wall. The family may 
want refreshment after this job. The drying grid, made 
of reindeer bone, strung over with a network of sinew 
thread, is now fixed up over the saucepan but not too 
near the fire. The skins will not bear too much heat. 
Finally, the "anauta," a small, round, thick, wooden 
stick with a handle, used for beating the snow off the 
clothes, is, by way of a finishing touch, driven into the 
wall. Everything is now ready. And none too soon ; 
for at this moment Atikleura is calling from outside 
asking if he may come in. Nalungia casts a last 
critical look round the walls, and tells him to wait a little. 
He o-oes ofi" mutterincr somethino- which, translated, 

would sound very much like "d d womenfolk" or 

somethino- of the kind. Naluno-ia looks as thouo-h she 
meant to pay him out for his courtesy by keeping him 
waiting a little longer, and it is quite another half hour 
before she calls him in. Then an opening is made 
through the wall, right down to the floor, large enough 
for a man to creep through, and Atikleuras head 
appears through it. A moment later he is inside the 


Chapter VIII. 

hut ; he takes off his soakino- wet o-loves and throws 
them towards his wife, who turns them inside out and 
hang's them on the drying grid ; then she takes his coat, 
shakes it and well beats it with the "anauta," for it is 
important to remove every little grain of snow to 
prevent it melting and wetting the coat, which is then 
rolled up and thrown on the bed. The outer trousers 
are then treated in the same way and placed with the 
coat next the " anorak." Atikleura stands there in his 
under garb. This does not sound exactly " comme 
il faut " according to our ideas, but it calls for no 
comment among the Eskimo. He now walks up to the 
sleeping place and sits down, not, as we might do, 
on the edge, but well back so that he can rest his legs. 
Now the footgear must be removed, and this is not 
a very simple matter, as an Eskimo's footgear consists of 
five different articles. Outermost are the low reindeer- 
skin shoes, made with the hairy side inwards. For 
a man of Atikleura 's high descent these are half-soled 
with sealskin. On the bottom of the sole there are 
some perceptible ridges which, on closer inspection, 
prove to be strips of skin sewn on to prevent the foot 
from slipping. Next come the "kamiks," which at 
this time of the year are exclusively of reindeer 
skin. There are two pairs of these. The outer are 
made of the hide from the reindeer's leg, which is 
short-haired and very strong. They are made with the 
hairy side inwards, and reach up to the knee, where 
they are laced up with a thong. Underneath these is 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

another pair, exactly of the same length and appearance, 
but with the hairy side outwards. These are made out 
of the hide of a one-year-old reindeer, taken from the 
abdomen, as the skin there is very fine and soft. Between 
these two pairs of " kamiks " the Eskimo wears a pair of 
short reindeer-skin socks, with the hairy side outward ; 


and, lastly, another pair of socks next to the skin, with 
the hairy side inwards, so that altogether the feet have 
five different coverings. When I first saw this I thoupfht 
that, after all, we were rather more hardy than the 
Eskimo, as we only used three articles of foot-gear ; but 
on my first sleig'hing tour I realised that it was not simply 
for protection against cold that the Eskimo used all these 

Chapter VIII. 

articles, but, to a great extent, to protect the feet against 
the hard snow and ice on which they are always walking. 
With my triple foot-gear I became so footsore that I 
could scarcely walk. Like the gloves, all the foot-gear 
must be put up on the grid to dry. The inconvenience 
of skin clothing is that, unless kept well aired, it is very 
apt to absorb and retain any moisture. The Nechilli 
Eskimo did not know of sedge-grass ; they put loose 
reindeer hair into their boots and take it out at nio-ht ; 
this was better than nothing, but not nearly so good as 
our Q-rass. 

When Atikleura has removed his wet foot-o-ear, he 
puts on a pair of dry " kamiks " and a pair of low 
seal-skin shoes — " kamileitkun "—corresponding to our 
slippers. In winter these are used inside the hut only, 
but during the transition period betw^een winter and 
spring they are worn outside. As far as the care of the 
outer man is concerned, Atikleura is now ready, and is 
therefore at liberty to think of the needs of the inner 
man. And these are not trivial, after the trying day's 
work. A fine salmon is served up, and all the members 
of the family partake freely. Frozen though it is, it 
seems to be highly relished, and very shortly there is 
nothing left but the clean-stripped skeleton. The sauce- 
pan, now full of fresh clean water — a few hundreds of 
reindeer hairs, of course, are not looked upon as im- 
purities — is emptied, and refilled with snow and suspended 
again over the fire. Water is the only drink the 
Nechilli Eskimo know; no "half-and-half" of any 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

kind is to be had diere. They now announce that there 
is no more room in their stomachs for either sahnon or 
water, and the meal is finished. It is time to turn in. 
Nalungia prepares the bed for the nig-ht, arranging" the 
beautiful soft skins ; Atikleura closes up the entrance 
securely with a block of snow, slips in under the large 
family bed rug, and there disrobes. Unlike the Greenland 
Eskimo, these people, of either sex, never disrobe in the 
presence of strangers, except in the greatest emergency. 
The guest of the family is assigned a place at one side 
of the hut — little Anni and Errera have turned in long 
ago — and the berth nearest the fireplace is reserved for 
Naluno-ia, She extino-uishes the lio-ht and arranges her 
toilet in the dark. The laro-e skin becl-ruo-s are their 
only covering at night. Vigorous snoring soon announces 
that they are asleep. 

The scene outside is very different from the one 
which we pictured in the summer. The tents have 
all disappeared, and, in the peaceful moonlight, the low 
cupolas of the snow huts are almost merged in the snow- 
covered field. A stranger passing by would scarcely 
suspect that quite a little world is slumbering there, 
and, least of all, a world of glad and happy people, 
happier, perhaps, beneath their lowly snow roofs than 
many a rich and mighty one under a roof crowned with 
turrets and battlements. Rancour and envy, calumny and 
malice, are banished from the world of this ice desert ; 
the peace of the night is unbroken, and the moonlit 
atmosphere is pure around the abodes of these men. 

Chapter VIII. 

There are still a great many trifles to keep the 
inmates busy in the hut next day ; in the hurry, in 
which all was done yesterday, it was impossible to get 
everything- arranged as it ought to be, so that there is 
still a g'ood deal to be set right or improved. Nalungia's 
first thought is to have a window in the hut. True, a 
snow hut, even without a window, is light enough to 
enable them to see to work by day, but with a window 
it will certainly be much lighter and more cheerful, and 
they will also be able to see and judge of the weather 
without going out. Atikleura, who is by no means 
heedless of the wishes of his wife, goes down to the 
ice-bound lake and cuts out a suitable oblong slab for a 
window, which he puts into the wall over the entrance 
door, the most elegant window imaginable. 

Time passes, and the moon, of high importance to the 
Eskimo, soon reaches that particular position in the 
heavens that permits the women to resume their sewing. 
This is a busy time. There are skins to be dressed, 
cut out, and sewn. To see an Eskimo woman cut out 
garments is most amusing. She has no chalk for 
marking out, but she has strong teeth. The skin is 
folded to the required shape, a mark is bitten in with 
the teeth, and the garment is then cut out with the 
"olo." Many do not even trouble to bite marks, but 
cut out by guesswork, with the sure eye acquired by 
years of experience. When the Eskimo woman sews 
for her family or herself, the stitching is done in an 
exemplary manner and the stitches are fine and small ; 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

but if she does sewing- "to order," for a " Kabluna," 
then it is execrable, long coarse stitches that will not 
hold for a day. Consequently, when we want service- 
able clothes, we buy them second hand from the wearer. 

It is an art to make skin clothes so that they are 
comfortable, both as regards cut and make-up. The 
Eskimo sew the skins together edge to edge, thereby 
avoiding the thick seams produced by overlapping. On 
board the " Gjoa " we had skin clothing made in Norway 
and Siberia, but we should have been crippled in a single 
day, had we worn these clothes with the seams next to 
us, they are so thick and coarse. On the other hand, 
I have repeatedly gone about in Eskimo clothes in warm 
summer weather, with the hairy side out and the seams 
next to me, without the least discomfort. 

At the end of October the Eskimo appear in their 
new clothes. The " swells," Ahiva and Oyara and their 
wives, always lead the fashion. A brand-new Eskimo 
dress is really very attractive. They wear two tunics or 
"anoraks," one with the hairy side inwards, and one 
reversed. In design they are very much like a dress 
coat. I do not know with whom the design originated. 
Among the Nechilli Eskimo the tails of the "anorak" 
are not very long, they scarcely reach below the knee ; 
but some other tribes wear them reaching right down to 
to the heels. The outer " anorak " is elaborately trimmed, 
and is made of a thicker skin than the inner one. Both 
garments hang loosely on the figure, so that the air can 
circulate freely. They also wear two pairs of trousers, 


I Chapter VIII. 

one with the hair outwards, and the other with the hair 
inwards. The outside trousers are often decorated with 
trimmings, while the inside ones, of course, are plain. 
They are tight round the waist, but loose at the knee. 


Both the "anoraks" and the trousers are often edged 
with fringe. 

Before the members of the expedition had become 
quite accustomed to the Eskimo dress and had adopted it, 
many of us thought it ridiculous for grown-up menfolk 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

like ourselves to go about wearing fringe to our clothes, 
so we cut it off. But I had my scruples about this, as 
I had already had evidence that nothing either in the 
Eskimo's clothing or other arrangements was, in fact, 
without meaning or purpose, so I kept my fringe and 
put up with the ridicule. However, he laughs best who 
laughs last ; one fine day the " anoraks " from which the 
fringes had been cut off, commenced to curl up, and 
if the fringe had not been put on again pretty quickly, 
they would soon have looked like neckties. 

There are merry doings in Nechilli at Christmas 
time. Although they have no idea of our Christmas or 
our reason for celebrating it, they have their winter 
festival, fully corresponding to our Christmas just about 
that time. The food depots are full of fish and reindeer, 
and the days are given up to eating, drinking, and 
amusement. They have built a large igloo, which serves 
as a common assembly room and entertainment hall. 
Some of these public igloos are quite palatial and will 
hold over fifty people. The amusements consist of 
gymnastics, conjuring, singing, and dancing. Gymnastics 
are cultivated by men of all ages ; even old Kachkoch- 
nelli takes his part, and acquits himself as well as the 
younger men. Having no horizontal bar they had 
improvised one with the means at their command ; 
a long cable was formed by five sealskin straps laid 
together, and a second sealskin strap coiled tightly round 
it : this constituted a very reliable rope. Now the 
question was, how to get it fixed, and that was not so 

VOL. II. 17 c 

Chapter VI 1 1. 

easy, as a snow wall does not really afford any strong 
hold. But the Eskimo know how to help themselves. 
They drill holes in each of the two opposite walls, pass 
the two ends of the rope out through these, and fasten 
them to two wooden bars secured in the snow on each 
side of the hut. Now this makes a capital elastic 
"horizontal bar," and the display commences. I was 
dumbfounded to see these people perform many of the 
gymnastic feats I remembered from my boyhood, and 
they really did them very gracefully. They were supple 
and agile. I was tempted to display some of my former 
agility, and show them what I had been capable of, but 
I came to orief. It was of little use for me to excuse 
myself on the ground that I was unaccustomed to a rope 
in place of the familiar horizontal bar ; the failure of my 
intended exhibition aroused general hilarity among all 
present, both Eskimo and Kabluna. 

For their conjuring tricks, they do not need this large 
hut ; they can be performed anywhere. These perform- 
ances, as a rule, have some special object : to drive away 
sickness or to ensure a good catch, etc. In spite of 
my persevering investigations, I was never able to find 
out what the qualifications for a conjurer or "angekok " 
are. There are various grades, some high, some lower 
class, and some quite inferior. Kagoptinner thus was 
a very great magician, in fact, as I have said before, 
the greatest of the tribe. Old " Praederik " was also 
one of the leaders, but not so great as Kagoptinner. 
We were never permitted to be present at these perform- 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

ances, but once I succeeded, by pure accident, in getting 
a tolerably good insight into the affair. I was calling on 
the " Owl " for a chat. Outside his hut there were two 
Eskimo, who addressed me as I was o-oinij in ; I under- 
stood it was something particular they wanted me for, 
but it was not until later that I found out what it was. 
On my way there I had heard loud shouting ; I took 
it for singing, of a more weird description than usual, 
and continued my walk towards the hut. I remained 
at the inner entrance to the hut, which was so low that 
I had to creep through it, and lie down on all fours, to 
see what was o-oing- on. I soon saw that old " Praederik " 
and his wife, a horrid old woman, one of the few I could 
never get on with, were practising " sorcery," The 
sleeping place on which they were, was almost in dark- 
ness. As far as I could see by the dim reflection of the 
little "light pastille" (a tuft of moss impregnated with 
seal oil), which was the only light in the hut, I thought I 
could faintly discern the outlines of the two individuals. 
The " Owl " and Umiktuallu, with their families, were 
spectators. They stood as far as possible away from the 
performers, and all looked very solemn. Luckily I was 
not observed at first, and was able to watch them all for 
a time unnoticed. The old woman was shrieking 
outrageously ; the yells of old " Praederik," which under 
ordinary circumstances might have been considered a 
very creditable performance in this line, were quite 
drowmed by hers. I could not see what else there was 
going on on the bed-place, and a movement on my part, 

19 c 2 

Chapter VIII. 

to get nearer the performers, led to my being discovered. 
However, quite unconcerned, I raised myself quietly and 
wished them good evening. But I had far better have 
abstained from doing so, for the old dame now uttered 
such a terrific howl as to make me fly precipitately. I 
have always had the greatest horror of women in that 
state. However, a very few minutes after, the " Owl " 
came out and told me that the performance was over, old 
" Praederik " havino- now " run himself through with a 
spear." I did not consider this very pleasant, as I quite 
imagined him to be bady injured and dying, but the only 
answer made by the " Owl " to my question as to his 
condition, was an invitation to come inside the hut. 
There the old rascal was sitting on the sleeping place, 
apparently in the best of health and humming softly. 
His wife did not appear to have quite recovered from 
her frenzy, she was swinging her arms about and scowling 
at me. I did not then venture any allusion to what had 
been o-oinaf on, but indulcred in a little o-eneral conver- 
sation, and went on board. Later that night, old 
" Praederik " came and showed me two holes in his 
"anorak, one behind and one in front, as irrefutable 
proofs of his having transfixed himself with his spear ! 
He was a very decent, honest fellow and I feel confident 
that he really imagined he had. Nor was it to be 
wondered at, that the mysterious howls uttered by the 
better half had for a time deprived him of his sound 

The Eskimo are not altogether without forethought 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

for the future. Their stock of meat and fish will last 

over Christmas and a little way into the new year. 

According- to their law, seal-catching must not commence 

before the middle of January, and even then it is carried 

on only on a small scale for some time, as the seals, 

which have very sharp ears, can hear the huntsman's step 

a long way off, while the layer of snow on the ground is 

thin, and consequently they can keep out of his way. 

Therefore, from the middle of January up to some time in 

February is their period of greatest privation. Thus it 

happened during their stay at Gjoahavn in 1905 that, for 

several days, just about this period, some of them were 

absolutely starving. Nor could we help them much, for 

if we gave anything to one they would all come, and we 

should soon have had the whole colony to feed ; so I had 

to lay down the law that no food was to be distributed — 

and enforce it. 

One night, after seal-catching had commenced, I was 

invited to witness the " kelaudi," the Eskimo's favourite 

festival, held in order to propitiate the higher powers to 

induce them to favour a good catch. The air was clear 

and frosty, and the vast silent desert was lit up by the 

moon so brightly that one could easily have read by her 

rays. In the midst of the many igloos of the camp, the 

larofe o-ala iofloo, erected for the occasion, towered above 

the rest, with bright light streaming invitingly from all 
its ice-windows. We arrived early, so as not to miss 
anything. The hut looked very well inside, being 
brilliantly illuminated with " light pastilles." A large 


chapter VIII. 

ring- of snow-blocks had been set up in the centre of the 
floor. Some of the men of the colony had already 
arrived, and entertained us as well as they could. They 
were decked to-night in their lightest and most elegantly- 
ornamented reindeer clothinof. Some of these were 
actual masterpieces of taste and skill. By and by the 
rest of the audience arrived — Anana, Kabloka, Onaller, 
Alerpa, Alo-Alo, and whatever names the others are 
called by, not to forget " Nalungia," there being at least 
ten of that name. " Orna " (the she-eagle) was the last 
of a row of at least twenty women, who all sat down 
silently and demurely on the snow-blocks arranged in a 
circle. They certainly did not look as if they were in a 
festive mood, any of them. The men took up their places 
at random around the women, and there was soon a 
full muster of them. In contrast to the women, they 
were all lively and full of fun and laughter. It looked 
as if they were the only ones who were to enjoy them- 
selves. At last the leading " senior " appears. To-night 
it is Kachkochnelli who acts in this capacity. He is 
arrayed in a light embroidered reindeer-skin dress, but 
he is wearing a cap and gloves. He brings with him 
the precious " kelaudi," the musical instrument of the 
tribe, which consists of a hoop of wood like a barrel hoop, 
covered with thin tanned reindeer skin, and fitted with 
a handle ; the drum-stick is a small club of wood, covered 
with sealskin. 

The entertainment now beo-ins. Kachkochnelli enters 


the ring ; thereupon Anana lifted up her voice and started 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

something- which I suppose I must call singing", though 
I find it rather hard to use the word in this connection, 
and the other women joined in. I have never heard 
anything so monotonous, its effect is still worse when 
chanted in chorus. But there must be some sort of fixed 
tune in this chanting of four notes, because they all 
manage to keep together. As the other women join in, 
Kachkochnelli commences to dance and beat the drum. 
It was not exactly a graceful dance. Keeping in one 
spot, he raises first one, then the other leg, and sways 
his body forward and backward, uttering loud yells. All 
the time he vigorously belabours the drum with his 
drumstick, striking- it not on the skin, but on the frame. 
The result of all these efforts is a deafening din. 
Kachkochnelli's dance gradually becomes less and less 
energetic, and after about twenty minutes he stops. 
The women's chant, which has been keeping time with 
the dancer's movements, dies away simultaneously with 
the cessation of the dance. Then the next man enters 
the ring. There does not appear to be any order of 
precedence among the Nechilli, whoever happens to 
sit nearest, and is willing to perform, comes up un- 
ceremoniously into the ring, and the same dance, the 
same yells, and the same chant are repeated, without 
a shade of variation. But I noticed that the women 
took turns in leading the singing. When Kirnir, an 
Ichyuachtorvik Eskimo was dancing, it was a woman of 
his tribe who acted as precentor, and when Nulieu, the 
Ogluli Eskimo performed, an old cross-eyed Ogluli 


Chapter VIII. 

woman led the sina-inof. It also seemed to me as if the 
tune varied slightly for the various tribes, but I should 
not like to be certain on this point. As I have already 
hinted, I have not a grood ear for music. 

I have seen this dance and chant described in several 
books of travels, and all the authors are unanimous in 
declaring that the performers worked themselves into 
a state of frenzy. This I cannot endorse. According 
to my very careful observation they were all quite 
normal and in their full senses during the whole dance, 
even when it was at its height. From the descriptions, 
I had expected something far wilder, and was therefore 
disappointed. It is altogether incomprehensible to me 
in what the pleasure of this performance consists. The 
performers looked bored, particularly the poor women, 
who had to repeat the same notes ad injinitum. In fact, 
they seemed quite delighted when there were no more 
volunteers, and immediately disappeared from the hut. 
This performance lasted about three hours, and had 
I known that it all consisted in a repetition of the first 
" turn," I should have come away much earlier. 

These dances were performed throughout the winter. 
Frequently even after a fatiguing day at seal-hunting, 
after ten hours' toil on the ice in storm and cold, they 
would proceed direct to the dancing igloo for this mad 
exercise. The children, particularly the little girls, also 
had their own amusements of this sort. Two little 
girls, standing face to face, raise their shoulders, bending 

forward towards each other, and wriesfle their bodies 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

about, rapidly uttering a great many unintelligible 
sounds throuorh their noses. All this is done with the 
profoundest gravity. Again they squat down opposite 
each other, with their knees tucked up to their chin, and 
hop up and down, mumbling some formula of words, 
with the same profound gravity of countenance. Though 
the pleasure of this game is, perhaps, not very great, to 
judge from their expression, it is at any rate fairly good 
gymnastic exercise. They also had a number of other 
pfames, but did not seem to care much about them. 

As I have said before, seal-catching does not really 
begin nor assume any importance until some time in 
February, when the snow falls heavily and accumulates 
in drifts, yards deep on the ice, so that the seal cannot 
hear the step of the huntsman. Then the Eskimo's time 
of privation is over, the empty larder will soon be 
replenished. Seal catching and reindeer hunting consti- 
tute the staple industry of the Nechilli ; and as their 
methods of seal catchino- are almost unknown to the outer 
world, I will attempt to describe them as well as I can 
from the observations I made during the excursions I 
took in their company. 

It is a raw, dark morning in February. A gale is blow- 
ing from the north-west, and snow falling so thickly that 
we look as thouoh we had emeroed from a flour bin. It 
is scarcely 8 a.m., but there are lights in the igloos and 
the whole camp is astir. There is every indication that 
seal catching is about to begin, yet it is difficult for a 

stranger to understand why they should propose to go 


Chapter Vlll. 

out in this awful weather, when yesterday they were 
walkino- and loiterino- about in the brioht sunshine, with 
a dead-calm atmosphere. But the Eskimo's plans and 
calculations are always a mystery to us ; he is governed 
by his own laws, known to himself and to him alone. 
However, they always have a reason. 


It is nearly 9 a.m. before they have all finished dawd- 
ling, for the Eskimo can dawdle, and that to perfection. 
To-day they are all starting out together in one party ; at 
other times they generally go out in small detachments. 
They are not all equally well equipped. Kachkochnelli 

is a man of method and order, who always keeps his 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

outfit in perfect condition, so that, by studying him, we 
get a correct idea of what a proper seal-catcher's outfit 
should be. The first thino;' we notice is that he has his 
skin clothing closely laced up all over, so as to be 
impervious to the air. He finds the open clothing, used 
at other times, too cold for a day like this. Suspended 
from a button on his back is his indispensable snow knife, 
partly covered by the hunting bag, the " tuttirea," which 
hangs above it on a sealskin strap, passed over the 
shoulders and across the chest. The hunting bag contains 
the following implements (see illustration of Eskimo imple- 
ments, p. 299, Vol. I): a harpoon, " helmiaki " (Figs. 13 
and 14) with harpoon line, " togakchyea " (Figs. 13 and 
14) ; two appliances for observing the seal with, called 
" ilia " (Figs. 15 and 16) and " kiviuchyervi " (Figs. 17 
and 18); a hole protector called " anokchyleoiritkun " 
(Figs. 20 and 21) ; two small wooden pegs which serve 
as rests for the seal spear called " na-a-makta " (Figs. 1 1 
and 12) and a strap for hauling the seal up called 
*'okchyeun," besides some small pins of reindeer horn 
to stitch up the incision made in the seal's body, called 
" topota " (Figs. 7 and 8). This is the whole contents 
of the bag. The bag itself is square, mostly of reindeer 
skin, though frequently, for want of the latter, they are 
also made of the skin of the Arctic fox. In one hand he 
carries the remaining implements and weapons, the seal 
spear called " onaki " (Fig. 10), the hole-finders or 
probes (Fig. 10) called " hervon " (Fig. 3), the hole 

examiners called "hervatavra" (Fig. 6), and a spoon 


Chapter VIII. 

called "ilaun" (Fio-. 9). In former times, and even 
until a few years ago, all these weapons and implements 
were made exclusively of reindeer horn ; now some of 
the parts are often made of iron. 

With the other hand he leads his dog by a reindeer 
skin strap. However, they do not all take dogs. There 
are about forty men in the party to-day, ranging in age 
from fifteen to fifty. They have a great deal to talk 
about. One would think they were living in a world 
full of stirring events, and offering a variety of topics 
for conversation and discussion, and not here in an 
Ice field, which had been lying silent and desolate for 
aeons, and where life from day to day, yea, from 
century to century, has gone on in changeless monotony. 
They proceed in a body over the ridge, but as they 
approach the ice they deploy in skirmishing order, 
gradually extending the intervals as they advance, until 
after a little time their line of march covers a consider- 
able distance. Kachkochnelli presses ahead, humming 
softly and talking to his dog. There is nothing remark- 
able about the dog, neither a particularly high-raised 
head nor intelligent eyes. Just " a wretched cur " 
would perhaps be the best description of him. But 
'' you must not judge a dog by his coat." Wretched 
as he is in appearance, I do not suppose his master 
would exchange him for the finest pointer, Gordon 
setter, or whatever else all those fine thoroughbred dogs 
may be called ; for he has this merit, which renders 
him indispensable in these regions, that he knows how 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

to track the seal. Suddenly he darts out on one side, 
stops and searches the snow carefully, and then lies 
down flat, leaving- the dio-ging operations to Kachkoch- 
nelli, who at once probes about in the snow with the 
"hole-finder," the same staff he used when testing the 


snow, with a view to building his igloo. Apparently 
the very first probings are satisfactory, for he at once 
slips the strap of his hunting bag over his head, 
takes the knife from its button, and with it proceeds 
to remove the layer of snow, covering the hole he 
has found in the ice. But this is not done without a 


Chapter VIII. 

previous thorough examination (the seal has many 
holes besides the one he resorts to for breathing), to 
see whether the hole he has found is really a " breathing 
hole " still in use, or only an old abandoned hole. 
Kachkochnelli lies down flat on his stomach, in the snow, 
and smells the hole. His keen sense of smell never 
deceives him. To-dav, fortune favours him ; he has 


Struck a genuine "breathing hole," evidently frequently 
resorted to by the seal. By a loud shout he intimates 
to his nearest comrades that he has a "find." This shout 
does not disturb the seal, yet the hunter takes care to 
move about the snow with the utmost caution, for he 
knows the seal is exceedingly timid of any sound of steps 
on the ice. The holes which the seals keep open during 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

the winter are not large at the upper surface of the ice, 
but only just large enough to enable the seal to put its 
snout through to breathe. The hole gradually enlarges 
downwards, attaining its largest dimensions at the lower 
surface of the ice. Now, the first thing the hunter does, 
after having made sure he is on the right scent, is 
to cover up the hole carefully with snow, so that the seal 
may not scent danger, should he visit the hole while 
preparations are in progress. A portion of the layer 
of snow lying over the hole is removed by the hunter, 
who then digs with his spoon through the remaining 
snow, working his way right down towards the hole and 
throwing the dug-up snow away to the side. When he 
has got to a sufficient depth, he thrusts his " hole 
examiner " into the hole, in order to examine its interior 
more closely. Having done so to his satisfaction, he 
plants the " hole finder " firmly in the hole with one hand, 
and by shovelling snow round it with the other, fills up 
the excavation. The hole-finder being now carefully 
withdrawn, there is a narrow passage left in the snow, 
reaching right down to the seal's breathing hole, a 
passage of about the size of a halfpenny, yet large enough 
for his observations. If it is early in the year, and the 
layer of snow is thin, the hunter will immediately detect 
the approach of the seal without any aids other than his 
natural senses. But at this time of the year, when the 
snow lies so deep, he must have recourse to his ingenious 
devices. The appliances used for this purpose are the 
''ilia" and the " kiviuchyervi " already referred to ; 

Chapter VIII. 

either may be used. KachkochnelH prefers the "ilia," 
and he also shows me how the " kiviuchyervi "' is used. 
This latter is made of thick reindeer sinews, and is not 
unlike a very small grapnel with two claws. To this 
there is always attached, by a cord, a bunch of swan's- 
down, securely fastened on, so that it may not get loose. 
With extreme care he first pulls out a single piece of 
down from the bunch, and attaches the ends of this, 
with a little saliva, to the claws of the grappling-hook, so 
that the swan's-down forms a curved line between them. 
This is then lowered into the hole till the little cross- 
piece rests on the surface of the snow. As the whole 
appliance is not more than two inches long, it is easy to 
see the extended swan's-down in the hole below. If the 
wind is very rough, so that the wall of snow thrown up 
does not fully protect the hole from drifting snow, the "hole 
protector " is set over it. This looks something like 
a very small candle shade, and is made of transparent 
sealskin. Through this the hunter can watch the 
swan's-down. But I have never seen this cover in use. 
As soon as the seal comes within several yards of the 
hole the agitation of the water extends to the hole and 
sets the delicate swan's-down in motion. But the 
hunter's sharp ear and sure judgment alone can deter- 
mine the right moment when to strike with the spear 
through the hole. 

The "ilia" affords a surer and more distinct indica- 
tion of the seal's arrival at the hole, and the majority of 
the Eskimo therefore prefer it to the " kiviuchyervi," 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

This second appliance consists of two exceedingly thin 
rods made of reindeer hair, connected by a thin cord. 
One of these rods is eight inches long, the other 
is about twenty inches in length, and has a thin 
disc of bone about as large as a sixpence at its lower 
end. The cord joining these rods is fastened through 

THE "II.I,a" and the " KIVIUCHYERVI." 

a hole at the top of each rod, and is about ten inches 
long. The " ilia " is also more easy to fit up in the hole, 
than the " kiviuchyervi," as swans-down is not a 
material easy to handle in a storm and at a temperature 
of —58° Fahr. To fit up the "ilia" in the proper 
position is quite a simple matter ; the shorter rod is 
stuck into the snow by the side of the hole, the longer 

35 ^ ^ 

Chapter VIII. 

one is lowered into the hole itself. When the little bone 
disc at the end of this rod comes down on the broken 
thin ice that covers the water in the hole, it rests on this 
ice, and thus supports the "ilia" above the water, and 
the thread which connects the two rods remains lying 
quite slack on the snow. 


During all these preparations the hunter has had the 
hunting bag lying under his feet as a mat, partly for 
warmth and partly to muffle the sound on the snow, lest it 
should scare the seal away. When the " kiviuchyervi " 
or the "ilia" is in position over the hole, the seal spear 
is got ready. This consists of three parts, of which the 
middle one or shaft is about forty inches long by one 
inch thick, and made of wood or bone. One end of 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

this shaft has attached to it a round projection, about 
two feet long, now mostly made of iron, though spears 
with reindeer horn projections are still used. But iron 
is greatly preferred to reindeer horn as the whole spear 
is more rigid and affords a surer thrust. This iron 
or reindeer horn projection terminates in a point which 


fits into a recess in the harpoon. To the other end 
of the shaft is attached the third part of the spear, which 
serves to enlaro-e the hole after the seal has been cauofht. 
This part may also be of iron or horn, but is most 
frequently of horn though iron is preferred. This is 
lashed to the shaft, and is curved and pointed at the 

The harpoon is now attached to the spear, and the 


Chapter VIII. 

harpoon line coiled up ready for running out, and tucked 
under a thin cord of reindeer sinew, extending the whole 
length of the spear shaft. This cord is fastened at both 
ends of the shaft. The harpoon is about three inches 
long and is now usually made of iron or copper. Only 
the extreme point of the harpoon is sharpened, so that 
the incision made in the skin of the seal may be as small 
as possible. Close to the point there are two barbs, 
curved back a little, so as to prevent the harpoon from 
slipping out again when once it has penetrated. As soon 
as the harpoon has entered the seal's body, it is torn away 
from the spear, and all the strain is brought to bear on 
the harpoon line, which is securely fixed through a hole 
in the centre of the harpoon, so that the latter will tilt 
over to a transverse position as soon as there is any 
tension on the line. The harpoon line consists of plaited 
reindeer sinews, and may be round or flat, but the crack 
hunter always prefers it flat. If flat, it is five-eighths of 
an inch wide and about thirteen feet long. It is always 
made of specially selected strong sinews. 

When the whole spear is ready and in order, it is 
deposited on the two small wooden rests, " na-a-makta," 
fixed in the snow. • The Eskimo now pulls off his long 
gloves, slips the left arm out of his coat-sleeve and places 
it across his chest underneath the coat, at the same time 
pushing the right hand into the empty left sleeve. 
Experience has taught him that this is the best way to 
keep his hands warm and yet be ready for action at any 
moment. The gloves are meanwhile held between the 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

legs. Then he bends his knees a little and leans forward, 
keeping his eyes riveted on the hole. Everything seems 
in his favour to-day. The slight oscillations of the " ilia " 
show that the seal is approaching. Owing to the rocking 
motion imparted by the agitation of the water to the thin, 
broken ice on which it rests, the "ilia" bobs up and 
down. The Eskimo draws himself up, and in a moment 

THE "owl" trout FISHING. 

both hands are back in position. With the right hand 
he grasps the spear, with the left he seizes the coiled 
line, and with every muscle tense, he prepares to strike. 
As the seal puts his snout up into the breathing hole, he 
pushes aside the fragments of thin ice, and the "ilia" 
slips off and sinks, until checked by the cord which 
connects it to the other rod fixed in the snow. This is 
the sional. Concentratino- all his strength, the Eskimo 


Chapter VIII. 

throws his spear. With unerring aim it darts down 
through the narrow passage and into the hole in the ice. 
It has caught ! Quick as Hghtning he withdraws the 
shaft, sticks it into the snow by his side, and lets go 
the coiled line held by a running loop round' his left 
hand. The seal runs out the line to its full leneth. 
But, after having been under water for some time, and 
being short of breath, its strength soon begins to fail. 
The Eskimo perceives this, takes the running loop 
from his hand and slips it over his foot, so as to have 
both hands free. He now hacks out the hole to a suffi- 
cient width to permit of hauling the seal up through it, 
and then pulls in the line. If the seal is not already 
dead, the iron mount of the spear shaft is thrust through 
its eye into the brain, and any resistance is prevented. 

The strain of the rapid movements has hitherto been 
sufficient to keep the bare hands warm. But now the 
hunter puts on his gloves again. With the curved pike 
at the other end of the spear he pierces a hole through 
the upper lip and jaw of the seal, draws a strap through, 
and hauls it up. The harpoon is drawn out, and the 
hunter's work is done. Meanwhile, his nearest comrades 
have come up and assisted in the hauling, if required. 
With his knife he now makes a little incision in the seal's 
belly, and removes the liver and kidneys, and all present 
regale themselves on these dainties and a little blubber. 
On a day like this, when the temperature is so low, the 
flow of blood can be staunched by filling the incision in 
the seal with a mixture of snow and ice, which freezes 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

instantly and closes up the aperture. In the spring, when 
the temperature is higher, the incision is stitched up with 
the reindeer horn pins (" topota "). When the seal is ready 
for removal, all the dogs at hand are harnessed to it by 
straps, and the hunters return home with their booty. 

On the way home a Polar bear is sighted upon a 
hummock ; he is away from the wind, so that our dogs 
do not get scent of him before he is sighted. Then they 
break away, all five of them, rush madly at the bear, 
and a battle royal follows. Bruin is quick when on his 
hind feet, and quick on all fours ; he claws and strikes 
and snaps, but the dogs dodge him by quick turning, and 
he rarely gets near them. However, they do their duty, 
and detain him by worrying him until the Eskimo come 
up with levelled spears. Now the fight assumes a more 
serious character. To attack a bear at close quarters 
requires a brave man's courage, and the numerous scars 
and wounds the Eskimo bear on their bodies show plainly 
enough that they do not always get off scatheless in these 
hunts. At last Umiktuallu gives Bruin the co7i/> de grace, 
and he collapses. The flesh is divided among all the 
hunters, but Umiktuallu retains the skin. 

On their return home the booty is handed over to the 
housewives. The seal is not too large to be hauled into 
the hut and skinned there. Nuyakke is a skilful woman, 
and the seal is soon skinned and quartered. The flesh 
and blubber are shared out equally among all ; nothing is 
thrown away ; the skin and entrails belong to the one 
who has killed the animal. The entrails, which to these 


Chapter VIII. 

people constitute the bonne boucke, are cleaned out and put 
into the pot to warm ; it would be wrong to call it 
" boiling," This is a happy time in the Eskimo hut, 
thouofh the hut itself looks nothino- more than a mere 
snow drift. Kachkochnelli lies extended at full length 
on the sleeping berth, and hums or sings merrily, for 
rest is delig-htful after a lono- and fatio-uino- hunt in storm 
and cold. Nuyakke is busy with the cooking pot, and 
Kallo and little Nulieiu stand by with longing eyes. 
There is plenty of blubber, so there is no need to be 
sparing of the flame. The light also reveals some little 
faces in the doorway, but Nuyakke is a prudent house- 
wife, who knows that if she o-ives to all who beo-, there 
will be nothing left, and she pretends not to notice the 
intruders. But, of course, she must cut off a few inches 
of " tripe " for Kallo and Nulieiu. 

The seal met with in the Nechilli's hunting field 
is exclusively the small species of seal ; it is very fat, 
and its flesh is delicious. The reason why the larger 
species of seal never find their way there is that the 
water is rather shallow. The tract right across Matty 
Island to Boothia Felix and the Eta Sounds is too 
shallow for the large species of seal. But the latter are 
to be found plentifully enough on either side. In Ogluli 
the Eskimo catch them in large numbers. Strangely 
enough, these large and very powerful animals are 
caught in the same way and with the same appliances 
as the small seal. It seems incredible that one man 

should be able to hold one of these larg-e animals on a 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

strap. But it can be done at a pinch. Tolimao, a man 
about 5 feet lo inches, strong and thick set, ranks fore- 
most among these seal catchers. Last winter he 
harpooned a huge specimen of the large seal. It was 
touofh work, but Tolimao had never let sfo before, and 
he did not mean to do so now. He dug his heels 
firmly into the snow, threw himself back, and held fast 
with both hands. The seal was too strong for him, 
pulled him over, and dragged him down into the hole, 
arms, head, and shoulders (of course, the breathing hole 
of the large seal is considerably larger than that of the 
small species) ; he did not slip in farther, but remained 
thus lying in a heap right across the hole until his 
comrades released him, but he never let go the line, and 
the huge seal was his. 

When the spring is at hand towards the end of March, 
the time arrives when the seals bring forth their young. 
Lest they should be overtaken unawares by the inter- 
esting event when under four yards of ice, they commence 
to enlarge one of their numerous breathing holes in good 
time. They also dig their way little by little into the 
snow above the ice, until they eventually make an 
excellent snow hut, with the ice for a floor, and the 
mighty bed of snow above it for a roof. Here the 
young are born. They are often scented by the dogs ; 
if the cubs are large enough they will plunge into the 
sea with the mother ; if they are newly born or too 
young they fall a prey to the Eskimo. 

Thus time passes away. June comes, and the snow 


Chapter VIII. 

melts away from the ice. Then the seal comes up upon 
the ice to bask in the sun, and enjoy the sight of the 
open sky and the clear day after months spent in the 
gloomy deep. At this period the Eskimo catch large 
numbers of seals. They espy them as dark specks far 
out on the ice, and steal up to them ; to reach them is 
an exceedingly difficult achievement. The hunter is 
armed with spear, knife, spoon, and accessories, the 
"topota." He, moreover, throws a small sealskin over 
his shoulder, and goes out towards the dark speck as 
far as he dare. Then he lies down and crawls. The 
seal is just as wary upon the ice as he is under it, and 
if there are no hummocks to serve the huntsman as a 
screen his task is no easy one. With his eyes riveted 
on his quarry, he wriggles forward ; if the seal raises 
his head he must stop and lie flat on the ice till the seal 
has become reassured. When he has got quite near he 
places the sealskin under his elbow and glides forward 
on this, to deaden the sound. If the seal shows sig-ns 
of alarm, the hunter tries to imitate its congeners by 
grunting and scratching the ice with his spoon, thus 
producing a sound like that made by the flippers of the 
seal scraping the ice. In this way he steals up to the 
animal, and, if he has been fortunate enough to avoid 
scaring it till he is within throwing range, he suddenly 
rises and throws his spear with a strong hand and a sure 
aim. Of course, it is at this critical moment that many 
seals escape, but a good many fall a prey to the hunter. 
Our Nordland seal-catchers can tell many a tale of 


The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

hardships under^'one in seal hunts on the ice. Frequently 
several consecutive days and nights are spent in seal- 
hunting', and the seal-hunters carry provisions with them 
and take their meals and camp over-nioht on the ice. 
They are hardy fellows, 

July comes round once more, the sky is blue, the sun 
shines warm, and flowers abound on the hill-sides. In 
Nechilli tent after tent has arisen, and the kayaks are 
ready for launchino-, 

I have never been able to find out exactly how the 
various tribes divided their huntino-orounds. But I 
believe I am not far out in stating- that the Ichyuachtorvik 
Eskimo have their seal hunting-oround from Matty 
Island northward, the Nechilli from Matty Island 
southwards to Ogle Point on the mainland, and the Ogluli 
from Ogle west through Simpson Strait and out into 
Ogluli. Thus the Kilnermium Eskimo retain a very 
large field, from the Coppermine River to midway into 
Ogluli ; perhaps this tribe is more numerous than the 
rest, or possibly this region is less rich in seals, but I 
should scarcely think so. Very frequently it happens 
that two tribes meet while out hunting. Such an 
encounter, far from leading to strife and bloodshed, is 
the signal for a round of festivities. Therefore the 
boundaries between their respective hunting-grounds can 
scarcely be very strictly drawn. 

As regards computation of time, the Eskimo keeps 
strict count within the space of the current year. If he 
is to reckon by years (or, as he puts it, " summers and 


Chapter VIII. x 

winters ") he gets sadly confused and arrives at the 
stranofest results. Old Kachkochnelli was once asked to 
tell us the age of his daughter Alerpa or Kodleo. He 
puzzled over it for a long time ; in the usual Eskimo 
fashion he counted on his fingers, and paused now on 
the middle-finger now on the thumb, with a deeply 
pondering mien, At last he has solved this arithmetical 
problem ; Alerpa, an adult, a fully developed woman, 
according to his calculation, was seven years of age. 
But he kept the most accurate count of the various 
months of the year. We could, for instance, make an 
appointment for a certain time many months ahead, and 
the appointment was always kept. 

According to the " Owl's " statements, the Eskimo 
divides the year into thirteen months, called as 
follows : — 

1. Kapidra (January) signifies : " It is cold, the 

Eskimo is freezing," 

2. Hikkernaun (February), " The sun is returning." 

3. Ikiakpariii (March), " The sun is ascending." 

4. Avonivi (April), " The seal brings forth her 


5. Nechyialervi {yidij), " The young seals are taking 

to the sea." 

6. Kavaruvi (June), " The seals are shedding their 


7. Noerui{^]\Ay I), "The reindeer bring forth their 



The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

8. Ichyavi I (July II), " The birds are brooding." 

9. Ichyavi II (August), " The young birds are 


10. Anierairui I (September), " The reindeer is 

migrating south." 

1 1 . Aifierairui II (October). 

12. Akaaiarvi {^ONQiTi^^r), "The Eskimo lay down 

food depots." 

13. Hikkernillnn (December), "The sun disappears." 

The difference between this and our own division of 
the year into months is not so very great. 

The seasons are computed according to the conditions 
of the ice and snow 

Opingan, spring (June and July), the season when the 
snow disappears from the ice, and the ice breaks up. 

Az>ra, summer, the season when there is no ice, 
August and September. 

Okeo, winter, the remainino- eio-ht months. 

They have thus only three seasons. They do not 
recognise any autumn. 

The twenty-four hours of the day are divided into : — 

Obla, mornino-. 

Onoii, evening. 

Oiioa, nio-ht. 

As an instance of the accuracy with which they keep 
count of time, I may mention that, on March 25th, 1905, 
Talurnakto told me it was now a year since we first met. 
As a matter of fact our first meeting with the Nechilli 


Chapter VIII. 

took place on March i8th, 1904. This was not such a 
bad computation, without a diary or almanack. 

As reo-ards the relio"ious ideas of the Eskimo I will 
not venture to give any account. The statements I could 
obtain on this subject were exceedingly imperfect and 
vague, and left most things to one's own imagination. If 
these people had any belief in a higher being they at any 
rate concealed it very jealously. They imagine a life 
after death ; at any rate good men are assigned an abode 
in the moon, the bad in the earth ; the stars are destined 
for those who had something of both in their nature. 
Natural phenomena, such as the aurora borealis, shooting- 
stars, thunder and lightning, rainbow, etc., they regarded 
with complete indifference. Evidently they loved life, 
but on the other hand they had not the slightest fear of 
death. If they were sick or in misery they bade farewell 
to life with a tranquil mind and strangled themselves. 
Two such cases occurred during our sojourn among 
them. During the voyage of the " Gjoa " we came into 
contact with ten different Eskimo tribes in all, and we 
had good opportunities of observing the influence of 
civilisation on them, as we were able to compare those 
Eskimo who had come into contact with civilisation with 
those who had not. And I must state it as my firm con- 
viction that the latter, the Eskimo living absolutely 
isolated from civilisation of any kind, are undoubtedly 
the happiest, healthiest, most honourable and most con- 
tented among them. It must, therefore, be the bounden 
duty of civilised nations who come into contact with the 

The Inhabitants at the Magnetic North Pole. 

Eskimo, to safeo'uard them ao-ainst contaminatine 
influences, and by laws and stringent regulations protect 
them against the many perils and evils of so-called civili- 
sation. Unless this is done, they will inevitably be 
ruined. All honour is due to the Royal Danish Trading 
Company for the manner in which it has treated its 
Greenland Colony. It is to be hoped that other nations 
will follow the Danish example in this respect, and will 
be fully alive to their responsibility in regard to these 
splendid and doughty children of Nature up at the Pole. 
My sincerest wish for our friends the Nechilli Eskimo 
is, that civilisation may never reach them. 

51 E 2 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

We noticed, with the most lively interest, that as the 
spring days were approaching, the uniform snow, which 
surrounded us on all sides, was little by little becoming 
streaked and marked with the tracks of animals of 
various kinds. We had seen a few tracks of foxes 
all through the winter. One morning the first ptarmigan 
had been there, executing some of their weird and per- 
plexing joy dances, with their tripping downy feet. 
Another day there was a fresh pattern among the 
others, the track of a lemming, the first we had seen ; 
it was straight at first, then zigzag, suggesting fear of 
an enemy, then mixed up confusedly with fox tracks, 
and here and there small red blood stains on the white 
snow. We watched the changing surface of the snow 
like a chart of approaching spring. On board we had 
the snow and ice removed, and all the skylights and 
ventilators opened. Light and air flowed in and 
freshened the " Gjoa's " stuffy winter room. 

We had now made such progress with our Eskimo 
friends that we could talk and chat with them on any 
subject. It must not be imagined that we could speak 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

the Eskimo language by any means ; we were probably 
further from speaking it after living with them for 
two years than we were in the beginning. If, for 
instance, we met any strange Eskimo, as Ristvedt and 
I did in the sledge trip in 1904, or as the Lieutenant 
and Ristvedt did on Victoria Land in 1905, they could 







not understand a word of what we said, or we of what 
they said. But with our old friends, as I have said, 
we had formed a sort of language of our own, by 
which we could easily understand one another. I say 
" we," though I only mean six of us, as the seventh 
obstinately persisted in his contempt for the foreign 


Chapter- IX. 

tongue, and always used his own, but the Eskimo under- 
stood him all the same. They were at times more 
intelligent than many white men. 

Talurnakto was by this time quite one of ourselves, 
and, in order to have him within reach at any time 
of the nicrht, we let him lie on the floor in front of the 
Lieutenant's bunk. He snored so loudly that he woke 
up the whole ship's crew, so the Lieutenant took him in 
hand, and, at the first sign of snoring, he let fly a boot 
at his head, whereupon he turned over and grunted. 
Then he would begin again and get a fresh reminder ; 
at the third or fourth reminder, as a rule, he stopped 
snoring. When the Lieutenant left the ship, Talur- 
nakto, much to his satisfaction, took the vacant berth. 
As he lay in the bed, his round face outside the 
blankets, with his evening pipe lit, and smoking rank 
chewing tobacco, Talurnakto looked the picture of 
content. The ventilation was so good, that the quality 
of his tobacco did not trouble me, but when he laid down 
his pipe and turned over to go to sleep he was soon 
snoring so loudly one would have thought his head 
would burst. I had previously provided myself with 
missiles, and the struggle began ; books, boots, and the 
like flew across the cabin, until at last it ended in 
Talurnakto putting his head out and saying "Go natti " 
(good night) ; he then settled down and slept quietly. 
Talurnakto knew more Norweo-ian words than our 
aforesaid comrade knew of Eskimo. 

On going through the magnetic observations made 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

round the stations a doubt occurred to me as to the 
possibility of our observatories being- situated too near to 
the ship, and that the large quantity of iron on board 
might have exerted some disturbing influence. Wiik 
and I then made numerous observations, the result of 
which removed all doubt on this point. The distance 
between the ship and the nearest observatory was about 
500 yards, and this proved to be quite sufficient. 

There was a good deal of other work in store for us 
this spring ; we had to get ready to leave Gjoahavn, and 
our houses had to be taken down as the boxes used in 
building them would have to be again utilised for 
packing the tin cases in. All the instruments had to be 
packed up, the stores brought on board, and the ship 
itself made clear. We should have to wait, however, 
until the spring really set in. and this would not be 
before the month of June. In the meantime fresh 
crowds of Eskimo were arriving, and among them 
were a good many strange faces, attracted here by the 
report of the great treasures to be found in Ogchoktu. 
Many of them had travelled several hundred miles to 
reach here. They had very little with them as they 
could not travel with heavy loads on these roads, but we 
gave them wood and iron in exchange for the few seal- 
skins they offered us, and they left highly contented. 
Umiktuallu was a keen business man. He had noticed 
that I liked to have neady sewn clothes, so he bought 
o-arments from some of his friends and sold them to me 
at a large profit. In the course of the winter he had 


Chapter IX. 

procured some powder and shot to use with his muzzle 
loader. Since then, however, his brother, the " Owl,"' 
had lent him the Remington rifle I gave him, and now 
Umiktuallu wanted to change his muzzle-loading ammu- 
nition for Reminoton cartrido-es, so he came to me and 
asked if I would change it. He was a very clever 
hunter, and as he promised me the meat of the deer he 
killed I accepted the proposal. A couple of days after 
he came on board to settle the business, and with the 
most innocent look in the world handed me over all his 
shot but kept back the powder. I pretended not to 
notice anything and went to fetch the Remington 
cartridges, leaving Umiktuallu grinning all over his face 
with glee at having, as he thought, so successfully 
tricked me. I counted out the 400 cartridges, and 
then quietly began to take out the powder. He stopped 
me and said that he had no use for the balls without the 
powder and caps. "No! No! No!" said I, "that is 
Just my case with you and your shot." He then pro- 
duced the powder and the exchange was effected, but 
Umiktuallu could not help laughing at his own failure. 

One day the Inventive Lund surprised me by showing 
me a new gun. It was his masterpiece, as an Inventor, 
and was by no means badly constructed. Of course, 
RIstvedt had had to give him a hand, but this did not 
detract from the Inventor's merit ; the weapon was really 
a curiosity and might have claimed a place In any museum. 
The barrel was a piece of Iron piping which belonged to 
the petroleum tanks in the engine room, and the gun 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

lock was an old one he had found in the old depot at 
Beechey Island and had taken care of. Strange to say 
on this lock was the name of Andreson, Gunmaker, 
Tromso. It is impossible to say how this article got 
there, it may have been brought by one of the Scotch 
whalers that occasionally put into Beechey Island. Lund 
had now an opportunity to utilise it. He made the stock 
of the gun out of birch wood, of which we had a few 
pieces on board. I cannot say that the weapon was 
exactly a handsome one. It was a muzzle-loader, and 
we were all very excited to see how the trial would pass 
off. The gun was placed some distance out on the ice 
and a string tied to the trigger, and from thence taken to 
the ship so that it could be fired off from on board. The 
trial turned out quite successful, and Lund had the satis- 
faction of presenting to his friend, Uchyuneiu, a gun 
of his own manufacture. Uchyuneiu shot several deer 
with this weapon, but said that he had to get very 
near to kill them. Probably the bore was not quite 

One day the " Owl " came on board as happy and 
contented as ever, and had a great deal to tell us about 
the seal fishino-. The Eskimo were now catchino- as 
many as sixteen seals a day, and passed every night 
dancing, playing, and eating as much seal flesh as they 
could stow aw^ay. I invited the " Owl " down into the 
cabin and there we sat, he, Talurnakto, and myself, 
chatting like good old friends. Suddenly, Talurnakto 
told me that the "Owl" had broken his collar-bone; 


Chapter IX. 

I examined him and found this was correct ; the upper 
part of the collar-bone having been fractured by a fall 
on the ice. With Wiik's help I bound up the fracture 
and enjoined the " Owl " to keep quiet for fourteen days, 
and in order to control him I offered to let him remain on 
board during that time. He gladly accepted. Talurnakto 
was delighted to have the society of his good friend, and 
these two passed many an hour together over the 
" F'ortress " game. 

Easter was now approaching, and the cook made great 
preparations for it. On Maunday Thursday my old 
friend Atikleura came with his wife and child. We had 
not seen each other for a year. He brought with him 
the gun I had given him, polished, cleaned, and 
brightened like new, and very carefully kept in a deer- 
skin case which his wife had made for him. About the 
time of the breaking-up of the ice in the previous year, 
he had gone over to Nechilli with his old father, 
Kagoptinner, and family, to pass the summer and the 
first part of the winter there. I ordered salmon from 
him then, and he now came with seventy large fat 
salmon cauofht durino- the autumn at Nechilli. He also 
presented me with two large parcels of seal blubber, four 
deer skins, and a bear skin. In exchange for this he 
received a saw, a hatchet, a knife, and a hundred 
cartridges. He beamed with delight. Nalungia received 
needles, a thimble, some beads, and matches. Talking 
about beads. Lieutenant Hansen and I had brought 
with us a large supply of beads in the hope of being able 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

to do some business with them. Our disappointment 
was therefore very great when we saw that the Eskimo 
women did not care a fig- for this style of adornment. 
But Lieutenant Hansen's business talent came to his 
assistance here. This was the first and I believe the 
only time I ever perceived that he had this talent. He 
began to make rings, brooches, necklaces, and other 
things out of the beads, and one day we had a feast in 
the cabin, and invited the Eskimo to partake of golden 
syrup and dog's suet. When the merriment was at its 
height the Lieutenant distributed some of the ornaments 
as presents to his guests, at the same time showing them 
some photographs of Greenland Eskimo who were 
covered with these trinkets. From that moment beads 
went up in value, and when we left Ogchoktu, their 
market value ruled very high. 

One day, when I went over to visit the Eskimo, I met 
in their camp a young Ogluli boy, named Ugvi, who had 
taken part in the robbery of the store tent in the winter ; 
as I had strictly forbidden the thieves to come to 
Ogchoktu, he had till then kept himself concealed in 
the huts, but now, as bad luck would have it, he ran 
right into me. I took hold of his arm and said severely, 
*' Is that you, you little thief, don't you know that I have 
forbidden you to come here ? " The boy did not move 
a step or change a feature. He simply stood and looked 
at me with a sly smile, but some of the older Eskimo 
came and assured me that the boy should be sent away 
immediately. Then I went to Atikleura's tent, and 


Chapter IX. 

shortly after he himself came in with the boy, who 
happened to be a brother of Nalungia. She was 
extremely distressed on hearing he would have to go 
away, and it was very touching to see how carefully 
she packed his provision sack for him with salmon and 
other good things. I now saw that our authority in the 
locality was absolutely undisputed, and in consideration 
of the fact that we had not very long to stay there, 
I informed Atikleura that the young rascal might remain 
if he, Atikleura, would be responsible for his good 
behaviour. This he immediately agreed to, and every- 
one was satisfied. As a matter of fact, my own indigna- 
tion at the theft was not very great ; it was done under 
stress of want and hunger, and would not have happened 
under ordinary circumstances. However, I enforced my 
prohibition as regarded the adult thieves, and so, when 
old Teraiu and his family came to settle amongst his 
friends, he heard that the prohibition had not been 
removed, and he immediately left the place. I mention 
this to show with what respect we had succeeded in 
inspiring these people, and, without boasting, I may say 
that the result was obtained without brutality or harsh- 
ness, but simply by always upholding justice and right. 

Poor little Kabloka, the "Owl's" excellent little wife, 
who was always ready to do whatever she was asked, 
was now, after three years of wedded life, in an interest- 
ing condition. Notwithstanding this, she had travelled 
twenty miles a day with her husband. Presumably proud 

of the prospect, she had adorned the most prominent 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

part of her little body with a number of beads, and her 
appearance was consequently very comical. 

It was only now that we were on such good terms with 
the Eskimo that they really trusted us and imparted their 
confidences to us, I had often asked them if they knew 
anything about Franklin's Expedition, but I merely got 
an evasive answer. At length, however, Uchyuneiu, 
the Ogluli Eskimo, told me what he knew. Me was 
a very brave and Intelligent fellow, and his account 
agreed very well with that which Schwatka had obtained 
twenty-five years ago. One of the ships had driven 
down towards Ogluli and was found by the Eskimo one 
winter's day when they were seal fishing on the south 
coast of Cape Crozier, the most westerly point of King 
William Land. They had then removed all the iron and 
wood work they could remove, and when spring came 
and the ice broke up the ship sank. At that time the 
Eskimo had eaten something from some tins which were 
like ours, and it had made them very ill : indeed some 
had actually died. They knew nothing of the other 
vessel ; in all probability it had been crushed by the ice 
on the north side of the Royal Geographical Society 
Islands. In accordance with this information we could 
almost safely say that the only unnavigated portion of 
the north-west passage, extended from the point where . 
this vessel sank to Cambridge Bay on V^ictoria Land, 
where Collinson wintered in 1852. 

One day Talurnakto came on board radiantly proud 

and told us he had given Atikleura " a black eye." This 


Chapter IX. 

astonished and at the same time interested me, so I 
endeavoured to ascertain how it had happened. Yes, it 
was quite correct ; a crowd of men were gassing outside 
Atikleura's hut when Talurnakto made some remark that 
offended Atikleura, who then boxed the fat little fellow's 
ears. Under ordinary circumstances Talurnakto would 
have taken his punishment quietly, but now he was half 
a white man ; he lived on board, and was altogether 
a man of honour and dignity, so he could not afford to 
take such an affront, and consequently he struck out at 
Atikleura with all his might, hitting him in the eye. 
There the matter ended, blow for blow, and that was 
enough. The Eskimo regard these things with the 
greatest coolness. 

We were now getting towards the end of April and 
the sun had already melted the snow at various places 
inland. As in the previous year, the sight of the bare 
fields was an indescribable enjoyment to our eyes and to 
our feelings. On May ist the ice measured six feet in 
depth, as compared with twelve feet six inches in the 
previous year. From April ist to May ist this year it 
had decreased nearly an inch, whereas during the same 
period in the previous year it had considerably increased. 

There were very few ptarmigan this year, indeed it 

was all we could do to obtain a sufficient supply for one 

meal a-week. On the other hand there were plenty of 

foxes. Ristvedt caught them in traps and probably 

would have caught many more if he had had the time to 

attend to his traps more frequently, but this he could not 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

do, and it often happened that he found that the remains 
of the trapped animal had been eaten up by its own 
relatives. Now, in the spring- season, the foxes had 
a pecuhar habit of going out on the ice to find out seal 
holes ; here they rummaged about as well as they could 
in the snow but did not get much more than a smell of 
the seal. 

When leaving home we had not taken with us any 
shot guns, as we had been informed that we could easily 
get them in Godhavn. Ristvedt was the only one who 
had brought his fowling piece with him. When we 
arrived at Godhavn we could not "'et a oun for love or 
money, but the Governor and his assistant were kind 
enough to lend us theirs. I obtained a single barrelled 
o-un, and Lieutenant Hansen a double-barrelled o-un, 
although we were told they were not very good weapons, 
but something- was better than nothinor, and we trot some 
use out of them. The Lieutenant had a good deal of 
trouble with his gun ; he often shot the barrels off, and 
eventually it looked more like a "shot revolver," and 
was christened the " garden syringe." In the autumn of 
1904 he put the gun away altogether ; then one day 
Hansen found it, cleaned it up, and gave it to the 
delighted Talurnakto, who felt sure he would make good 
use of it, if he could only get near enough to the birds. 
One afternoon Talurnakto came on board in tears. 
The tears ran down his face as he told us that the 
"garden syringe" had burst. He had fired off both 
barrels at once, and this was more than the old piece of 


Chapter IX. 

furniture could stand. When he saw that we took his 
misfortune very Hghtly, inasmuch as we told him that 
he was lucky to get off with a whole skin, his tears very 
soon changed to smiles. 

My credit with the Eskimo was really very flattering. 
We were quite out of knives, our best bartering medium, 
although at the time we had four large excellent ice 
saws of steel, and a great number of knives could be 
made from these. As, however, our cutler was out on a 
sledge trip, I had to give out warrants for knives for 
future delivery, that is fourteen days after the return of 
the cutler. Also, as regards ammunition, I was in the 
habit of giving delivery warrants, payable by the smith, 
who also had charge of the ammunition. In the 
beofinnino; the Eskimo were rather astonished at receivino- 
a piece of paper instead of a knife or fifty cartridges, but 
when they understood the meaning of it my paper was 
always accepted as good payment. I made out several 
of these warrants in the summer of 1904, and some of 
them were only presented in the summer of 1905, but 
they were immediately honoured to the great delight of 
the possessors. 

In the beginning of May all the women suddenly 
seemed to have got the peculiar idea that I set an 
exceptionally high value on seal bladders. They used 
these bladders for preserving reindeer fat during the 
summer. Now they came in great numbers to the ship 
with whole heaps of these bladders blown out. For a 
time I accepted them, and gave them a few needles in 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

exchange, but at last it became too much for any one 
man, so I had to tell them that there was no further 
market for bladders. It was obvious that one of my 
comrades must have put them up to this, and the result 
was that afterwards the whole cabin was covered with 
these blown-out bladders. 

On May 9th we seriously began our spring work. In 
this we were considerably helped by Talurnakto, who, by 
the way, had just appeared in a new costume. Wiik had 
given him a pair of sealskin trousers from Godhavn, and 
they fitted him like a skin on a sausage, so that it was all 
he could do to get them on in the morning ; however, he 
wriggled in, then he bent his knees slightly by way of 
experiment (bending them much was out of the question), 
and he declared with satisfaction that they would make 
splendid kayak trousers. In this he was correct, as there 
would be no difficulty in keeping still in such garments. 

Half of the sail roof over the vessel was removed, and 
everything put in order to clear up the hold. Lindstrom's 
underground sojourn was now at an end. The galley, 
which had been all along; in the hold, was now aeain 
placed on deck. It was very nice to see the old box in 
its place again, although its looks had by no means been 
improved by its sojourn down in the dark hold. In the 
course of the winter a good deal of damp had collected 
in the hold, and we pulled down the draught screens to 
dry it. Fifty casks of petroleum which were lying in the 
bottom of the boat were now emptied into the fixed iron 
tank. The empty casks were brought on shore, and 

VOL. II. 65 F 

Chapter IX. 

there they stood, the admiration and ambition of the 
Eskimo. It was my intention to make all our empty 
casks, boxes, tins, old boards, and the like into ten heaps, 
and to give a heap to each of the ten best and most 
capable Eskimo ; but for the present they had to content 
themselves with the sight and the odour thereof. 

We first brought on board ten tons of large stones for 
ballast. Now, in order to bring the stores on board, we 
had first to procure cases, consequently we had to dis- 
mantle our houses to re-acquire the materials used in 
erecting them. We could dispense with the "Magnet" 
most easily, but I wanted to retain the " Variation House " 
as long as possible, so as keep the observations going. 
Wiik now moved on board with all his traps and again 
took up his old place in the cabin, and on May 15th we 
commenced pulling down the " Magnet." The whole 
station, with all its little houses, had become as dear to 
us as a home, and it was with much regret that we dis- 
mantled it. As the Magnet Hill lay there bare and 
desolate as it was when we came, it looked more solitary 
than ever, but behind this sad feeling there was another 
stronger and brighter ; it was the beginning of our further 
progress. Every case we carried down brought us nearer 
to the breaking up and nearer to the goal of all our hopes 
and longings. I cannot deny that I burned at the thought 
of the time when we should show our Norwegian flag to 
the first vessel on the other side of the North West 
Passage. All sadness and sorrow yielded to this desire, 
and we pulled the cases down with impatient eagerness. 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

Saturday, May 20th, was a great day on board the 
" Gjoa." Till late in the evening the day passed as 
usual. At 12 o'clock noon the sun stood in the south 
as usual ; at 3.30 in the afternoon Lindstrom had finished 
his usual siesta ; at 6.30 we took our supper and intended 
retiring according to custom at 9.30. Wiik came from 
Magnet Hill, where he had been taking meteorological 
observations, and told us that some people were coming 
along on the ice ; this was not an unusual occurrence, 
but as he thought he had noticed, in spite of the great 
distance, that it was a sledge with a lot of dogs, and 
that it was travelling very rapidly, I sent out Talurnakto 
to see what it was. Our Eskimo friends do not, as a 
rule, travel " express," and as Talurnakto did not return, 
we felt sure that it must have been an Eskimo family 
now stopping to camp for the night. I therefore got 
into my bunk, but I had not been there very long before 
I heard hasty and unfamiliar footsteps on deck, and 
immediately afterwards a man burst into the cabin. 
" Go' morning ! You give me 'moke ! " was his greeting. 
It was Atangala, with his broadest and most triumphal 
smile. He stood before me and held out his hand, at 
the same time asking me not to press it too hard as he 
had hurt it. I cared little for his smile, hand, or 'moke, 
I merely wanted to see whether he had the mail. " Have 
you any letters ? " " Letters ? Yes, out there on the 
sledge, a whole heap of them." He was both surprised 
and hurt that we were in such a hurry about these letters, 
but I hastily put on a few clothes, and we both went 


Chapter IX, 

outside. In a hurry and scurry everyone got up, and 
soon we stood beside Atangala's sledge ; at last he 
brought out a neat little soldered tin box from beneath 
all kinds of odds and ends. 

This ivas the ?nail ! 

I shall not endeavour to describe my feelings when 
holding this tin box in my hands, containing as it did 
messao-es from the livino- tumultuous world. We well 
knew that there could not be any direct message from 
the dear ones at home, but here, at least, was news of 
the great human community to which we all belonged, 
and from which we had so long been cut off. The simple 
word "mail" produced an indescribable sensation in us 
all. We carried our treasure on board and o-athered 
around it. Lund immediately got the soldering-lamp 
to work, and the box was soon opened. The first I found 
was a letter from Major Moodie, Chief of the Royal 
North West Mounted Police, and Chief Commander of 
" The Arctic," belon^ino- to the Canadian Government. 
This ship was formerly the "Gauss," which had been 
built and used for the German South Polar Expedition, 
under the command of Erik von Drygalski. " The 
Arctic " was investigating the conditions around Hudson 
Bay, and had wintered off Cape Fullerton, near Rowe's 
Welcome, an arm of Hudson Bay. In this very friendly 
letter he offered us every assistance, should w^e go near 
him, and he also sent me five sledo-e dog-s. From the 
Captain of " The Arctic," Captain Bernier, I also received 
a lonof and interestino- letter. His information about the 


S H 

Farewell to Gjoahavil. 

American whalers on the north-west coast was very 
acceptable to me. and of the greatest importance. The 
Captain also sent us a quantity of" newspaper cuttings 
and photographs, which we greedily devoured. The 
American whaler, " Era," was wintering at the same 
place, and the commander, Captain Comer, sent me a 
warm and friendly letter. He also sent me five dogs. 
Hoping that Atangala might arrive before Lieutenant 
Hansen's departure, I had asked for dogs, but as they 
arrived now six weeks after the departure of the expedi- 
tion, and as we had no food for them, I was compelled to 
send them back. Major Moodie very kindly undertook 
to forward our mail home. I am unable to find words to 
thank these three gentlemen for the kind helping hand 
held out in such a warm and friendly manner. 

Of all the news we obtained, the most interesting was 
that about the war between Russia and Japan. We were 
glad and thankful to learn that the Danish Government 
had established a depot for us in Leopoldhavn, which 
might still be of some use to us. 

We sat up late through the night and discussed all this 
news. In our hurry to get up we had not troubled to 
dress very much, and, as we sat in eager groups around 
the letters and newspapers, we formed a very amusing 
picture. Atangala took advantage of the time and 
opportunity, and had one " 'moke " after the other. This 
time he was accompanied by his son, Arnana, a young- 
man about twenty-five years old, a very fine fellow. 
When at last I had time to attend to Mr. Atangala, he 


chapter IX. 

told me he had had a very fine trip, although he had run 
rather short of food until he got near his home at 
Chesterfield Inlet. Of course, he had to go home first. 
Here he had encountered some musk oxen, and had 
hunted them ; one day, when out shooting, one of the 
cartridges had jammed in the barrel of the gun, and, in 
endeavouring to get it out, the cartridge exploded, with 
the result that Atanoala lost his fore-fino-er. When he 
reached home his friends and relations tried to persuade 
him to give up carrying the mails and to remain at home 
quietly and take care of his finger ; but he withstood all 
temptations and continued his route. The recompense 
he had in view, after successfully accomplishing it, was an 
old gun and four hundred cartridges ; but I am inclined 
to believe that it was not merely the payment which 
impelled him to fulfil his task, but that he was stimulated 
by a desire to prove that he was a man of his word, and -in 
circumstances like ours, such a man is doubly appreciated. 
He consequently received a considerable addition to his 
pay, and during his entire stay with us he was treated as 
the honoured guest. He was especially delighted at the 
praise I gave him for his integrity and sense of honour. 
On May 23rd at 1 1 o'clock in the morning he started out 
again for the south, together with the superfluous dogs 
we were sending back, as also with the return mail. He 
was to try and reach " The Arctic " before she could sail, 
that is, before the ice broke up. 

In the meantime we were at work with the stores. 
The tin cases were removed and placed in wooden boxes, 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

numbered and entered in the store list. In two days this 
was all ready and for the second time — presumably the 
last — our stores were ready to take on board. The 
Eskimo were very useful to us, and there were generally 
a number of young fellows doing nothing whom we 
immediately engaged. With the aid of three Eskimo I 
saw to the work on land, whilst Lund and Hansen 
directed everything on board. The work progressed 
rapidly, the cases were carted out on sledges to the ship's 
side, hoisted on board, lowered into the hold and then 
stowed away. An exact plan was made of the stowage 
so that we could find whatever we wanted at any 

The deer had begun to return, and Talurnakto was 
constandy hunting them. In the afternoon he returned 
home and then went off with the sledge to bring in what 
he had shot. I had bought a dog from the Nechilli 
Eskimo ; its name was " Achkeamullea " ; a very easy 
name to call out in a hurry, isn't it.'* It occurred to me 
it was rather long, so I rechristened him " Akchya," 
Northern Light. I also kept one of the dogs Atano-ala 
brought ; his name was worse, and I rechristened it 
" Fix." Fix was as thin as a skeleton when he came, 
but in a fortnight he was so fat he could scarcely move. 
We fed both the dogs on the reindeer offal and used 
them for bringing in the deer shot by Talurnakto. 
However, during a fight with Fix, Akchya was ripped 
open, and died soon after. It was a shortsighted act on 
the part of Fix, as he now had to do all the work himself. 


Chapter IX. 

At the end of May the Eskimo concluded their winter 
seal fishino-, and returned to land to their summer occu- 
pations, hunting and fishing. On their way they came 
in laroe crowds to Ogchoktu, to visit us and, if possible, 
to do some business with us. I utilised the occasion for 
distributing our recompenses among them. My ten 
heaps of wood and iron had been increased to eleven, as 
there were, in fact, many who had been very loyal to us 
all along, and had helped us assiduously and industriously, 
and who might be assisted with advantage. It was a 
great pleasure to see how happy they were with their 
gifts ; Talurnakto, especially, was quite radiant ; he 
walked up and down past his treasures with the dignified 
and grave air of a rich man. Poor fellow ! If he again 
o-oes into Akkla's hut as co-husband all his riches will 
soon disappear. 

On June ist, 1905, the self- registering instruments 
were stopped, after nineteen months' uninterrupted 
working. Wiik had carried out this work all by himself, 
and did it with a care and accuracy beyond all praise. 
This was Ascension Day, so no work was done. In the 
afternoon I collected together all our Eskimo lady friends 
to enrich them with our empty tins. There were some 
hundreds of tins, and I had put them together in a large 
heap in the middle of the hill. Then I had the women- 
folk arranged round the heap in a ring and told them 
that when I had counted three, they might " go for " the 
heap and get all they could. The men arranged them- 
selves behind their ladies : One ! two ! three ! and in 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

they rushed, using both hands and shovels ; they threw 
the tins out backwards between their legs — they were not 
hampered by skirts — -and the men grabbed hold of the 
flying tins, and so each collected his lot. Laughter and 
noise, shrieks and shouts, tins flvino", men rushino-, and so 
the heap was cleared. 

The same afternoon there arrived a familv consistin"" 
of husband, wife, and three sons. The eldest of these 
latter was a young fellow, twenty-five years old, who had 
been lame from his childhood, and the parents drew him 
along on a seal skin, as they had done for many years. 
He was a bright fellow, slender, and well proportioned, 
with long jet black hair. He was tattooed over the nose, 
the only tattooed man I saw, and was looked up to as 
a maofician. As we had more sledges than we needed, 
I presented these people with one of them, so that it 
would be easier for them to move the invalid about. 
This made them indescribably happy, and the young man 
himself hardly knew how to express his gratitude. He 
then oave me what he valued most, his maoician's sion, 

o '00' 

a crown and a brow-band of deerskin, which I highly 
valued, as it made a very notable addition to my 
ethnographical collection. 

Navya was re-engaged as needlewoman on board ; she 
came after breakfast and remained till evening, and had 
her meals on board. Her little son, Nanurlo, came with 
her. She sat in the cabin and Wiik had her company 
when he was engaged entering his magnetic observa- 
tions in the journals. In spite of her fifty years, 


Chapter IX. 

Navya was always as bright and cheerful as a young 
o-irl, full of nonsense and an awful chatterbox. One 
day when he had been called up on deck, and came 
down again after a few minutes business, Navya had 
" taken up the pen " and scribbled all over the page of 
the journal, spoiling all his neat rows of figures. She 
was very proud of what she had done, and was surprised 
by the flood of invective Wiik let loose on his return ; 
but it was impossible to be really angry with Navya for 
long, and Wiik soon forgave her. She was exception- 
ally clever as a needlewoman, and made clothes of all 
my fine skins ; of the bear skins she made trousers, and 
of the fine reindeer skins she made coats. For every 
article she made she received some small object as 
payment. What she preferred, indeed, what all the 
ladies seemed to prize most, was our enamelled iron- 
ware, as well as china and earthenware. They were 
very fond of the white, and they would sit in the huts 
for hours licking and polishing these articles. 

The small boys had now, as in the previous year, 
begun to take their places again on the ice, where they 
fished for codlings. Now and then I went among them 
and could not restrain myself at times from asking 
them to lend me the line to try my luck. This 
seemed to amuse them immensely, as they could not 
imagine a grown-up man fishing for codlings of his 
own free will. 

On June 2nd we began to pull down the " Variation 
House." Lund and Hansen were entrusted with this 


Farewell to Gjoahavn, 

work, and with the assistance of the Eskimo they made 
rapid progress. 

When I was leaving the " Deutsche Seewarte," Pro- 
fessor Neumayer had given me a photograph, which 
I promised to place as near the Magnetic Pole as 
possible. On my sledge trip to the Pole in the spring 
of 1904 I had the photograph with me, but was unable 
to find a convenient spot to place it on. The Eskimo 
would, at the first opportunity, have plundered every- 
thing we buried, if we had indicated its position by any 
sign. I therefore took it with me to bury it on the spot 
where we had carried out our chief work, beneath the 
" Variation House," As the house had now been 
removed, and the Eskimo had ransacked the site, I 
took advantage of a moment when no one was there 
and buried it. On the back of the photograph I wrote : 
"In deep gratitude and respectful remembrance I deposit 
this photograph on Neumayer Peninsula, " Gjoa " Expe- 
dition, August 7th, 1905. — Roald Amundsen." This was 
placed in a flat tin case and buried under the cemented 
stone foundation on which the registering instrument 
had stood, and was then covered in with sand. An 
oblong heap of earth of the same shape as the house 
marks the spot where the " Goja " Expedition had its 
self-registering instruments for nineteen months. If 
any future expedition should come here and desire to 
establish its instruments on exactly the same spot, this 
tin case may serve them as a guide. Later, the 
situation of the house was accurately determined by 

VOL. II. 81 G 

Chapter IX. 

measurements, by Lieutenant Hansen. On the site 
where our observatory for absolute magnetic measure- 
ments had stood, just under the centre of the instrument 
stand (which had occupied the same position the whole 
time), we buried a piece of yellow limestone about one 
foot long by six inches wide, with the letter G cut into 
its upper surface. With a little searching it will not be 
hard to find it again. If we had marked the spot by a 
cairn, the Eskimo would probably have respected it for 
some years, but there is no doubt they would have over- 
thrown it eventually. Now that everything was on 
board, we had to smarten up the ship, as we might 
possibly be meeting people this year, and I should not 
like them to say that we Norwegians do not keep our 
ships in good trim. The " Gjoa " and the boats were 
therefore painted and oiled all over, and they looked as 
well as they did the day they left the wharf. All shared 
eagerly in this work, and Ristvedt and Lund also made 
an elegant accommodation ladder of iron and wood, 
which attracted great attention when we arrived at San 
Francisco. At any rate, no one shall be able to say, 
from the state of our vessel, that we have wintered 
for two years. 

One June day I went to the Eskimo encampment and 
saw one of them sitting and eating with one of our table 
knives. I immediately took it from him and asked him 
where he got it. He told me it was a present from 
Talurnakto. I immediately summoned the culprit before 

me, and he admitted that he had taken the knife. It 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

had been accidentally thrown overboard, and he had 
appropriated it. He did not endeavour to excuse 
himself, and it was not a very serious matter, yet for 
the sake of example, I forbade him to come to the ship 
for eight days. He went off and strictly obeyed my 
injunctions. When the time was up he came back as 
smiling and contented as ever. 

We were now eagerly expecting the return of the sledge 
expedition. As they had not returned after the lapse 
of the first seven weeks, I concluded they had found the 
depot on Cape Crozier in order, but, even so, they 
should have been back by June i6th. Many Eskimo 
had just come all the way from Ogluli, but none of them 
had seen anything of the Expedition, and, consequently, 
I began to be a little anxious. Since the arrival of the 
Eskimo in such laree numbers we had beo-un to have a 
night-watch. I instructed the watch to keep a sharp 
look-out, and immediately to inform me if he saw 
anything which might indicate the arrival of our 

The 24th, St. John the Baptist's Day, was to be a 

holiday, and, as we had fixed Thanksgiving Day for the 

same date, it became a holiday in a double sense. At 

6.30 in the morning Lund, who had the watch, came 

and woke me up, saying " Here are the boys." I was 

not long dressing. It was a splendid morning, perfectly 

calm, with a burning hot sun, and there were our two 

comrades approaching from the direction of Fram Point. 

I can hardly say how glad and relieved I was to see 

83 G 2 

Chapter IX. 

them, and the rate at which they drove the dogs went 
a long way to show that the animals were still in good 
condition. The flag was immediately hoisted, together 
with all the bunting we had on board, and everyone was 
very festive. A more elaborate breakfast than usual 
was prepared, and as we ate it we soon got a briet 
outline of all the incidents of the journey. The Expedi- 
tion had furnished them with hard as well as lighter 
work, but more of the former. The depot at Cape 
Crozier had been wholly destroyed by the bears, but they 
had succeeded in killing four reindeer. The passage 
across Victoria Strait had been exceptionally difficult. 
The ice had been trying and the surface very irregular ; 
some days, indeed, they did not cover more than two or 
three miles, and they repeatedly had to go out of their 
way. On the other side of the Strait they had encountered 
a new tribe of Eskimo, the Kilnermium, from Coppermine 
River ; they were out seal-fishing. Whilst these Eskimo 
were almost destitute of iron they were better provided 
with wood than the Nechilli ; their boats and sledges 
especially were better. For nails and small knives they 
bartered as much seal flesh and blubber as our comrades 
needed. They passed one day with these people to get 
a rest, which both man and beast had need of after their 
arduous work on the ice. They then continued their 
way along the unknown coast of Victoria Land. The 
land was so low and flat that for the most part it was 
difficult to distinguish the coast from the ice. They 
charted the coast as they went along. They were con- 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

stantly shooting seal, reindeer, and bear, so that they had 
ample stores practically all the time. 

On Friday, the 26th, they turned back after having 
constructed a cairn at the most northerly point they 


reached, and deposited a report in it. The return was 
easier and more rapid, as they had no surveying to do. 
On the return journey, the land seen by Dr. Rae in 
Victoria Strait was carefully investigated. It proved to 


Chapter IX. 

be one group out of a mass of small islands — " The 
Royal Geographical Society Islands." These islands were 
charted as well as possible, and later we found this to 
be of great importance to us in our further navigations. 
The Ogluli Sea, between America, Victoria Land, and 
King- William Land, turned out to be very full of islands 
and not clear and free as shown in the old maps. It is 
important to bear this in mind, in the event of navi- 
gating that part on a dark night. 

On the return journey to Cape Crozier they were 
lucky enough to have better ice, so that they made more 
rapid progress. With the exception of a few sore feet 
among the dogs, everything was in the best of order. 
The trip had occupied eighty-four days, although they 
had taken with them stores for only fifty days. The 
result was excellent, I might even call it splendid, con- 
sidering the many days of bad weather they had, all the 
careful surveys they had made, and also the fact that 
they had had to devote a good deal of the time to 
hunting to keep up supplies. We learned all this during 
the first breakfast ; after that, the day was spent in 
rejoicing and festivity. 

Towards the end of June it got very warm and the 
channels began to open up. If it continued like this we 
might have as favourable an ice year as in 1903. The 
land was almost clear of snow already and the gnats were 
tormenting us considerably. 

On board we had to make various chang-es in our 
arrangements after Ristvedt and Wiik had moved over 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

from the land. The Lieutenant and myself had to share 
the cabin with them. As Wiik was now continuously 
occupied in carrying- out his observations, the cabin could 
no longer be used as a dark room ; but as it was absolutely 
necessary for the Lieutenant to have a dark room, the 
problem was eagerly discussed and many proposals were 
made for its solution. Lieutenant Hansen finished it 
at length by using as a dark room one not originally 
intended for that purpose — I need not particularise 
further — "necessity is the mother of invention." The 
store tent was now empty, as all the stores were on board. 
This tent was now used for many different purposes ; 
first as drying room for all our bird-skins. These were 
hung up in it and soon dried in the continual draught. 
Afterwards it was used as office and bath-room, and the 
price of admission was so modest that it did not prevent 
anyone from washing himself. All that was required was 
to light the " Primus," see that it was put out afterwards, 
and leave everything in order. There was no bath 
attendant. We also arranged some lonor boards on which 
we set out our observation books and magnetic curves in 
order to qo throuofh them for the last time, and also to air 
them before they were finally soldered down. 

The "Owl," Umiktuallu, and Nulieiu, started on 
June 2nd with their families westward to Kamiglu near 
Eta Island in Simpson Strait, intending to go deer 
hunting. I arranged with them that we were to stop the 
ship when we were passing there to take on board the 
reindeer meat. We gave them a long pole with a flag 


Chapter IX. 

to fix up so that it would be easier for us to see where 
they were, 

I had long promised Lindstrom he should have a 
holiday one of these days to investigate the land in the 
mystic interior. The Eskimo had talked much about 
the river up towards the north, Kaa-aaga angi (the large 
river) which, according to all reports, was swarming with 
salmon. Several families had gone there, and had 
reported that the fishing was splendid. So Lindstrom 
fixed on Kaa-aaga angi, and his longing to leave his 
galley for this river got stronger and stronger. At length 
on July 4th he was ready. The expedition consisted of 
himself and Talurnakto as second in command. For a 
long time the others had referred to it as the " Expedition 
for Investiratinor the Interior of Kino; William Land." I 
did my best to preserve a serious demeanour with regard 
to this expedition. Lindstrom's real object was to 
increase his zoological collection, and his comrades made 
great fun of him, but no one could help laughing at these 
two Arctic explorers as they moved slowly across the ice 
under a shower of more or less complimentary observa- 
tions from the boat. They were both of similar build, 
tallest when lying down, and they trundled off side by 
side, like two balls. Next day, Ristvedt and Wiik, who 
when they got together, were capable of inventing the 
most incredible tricks, went up to the Eskimo Encamp- 
ment, and selected a walking specimen of the same type, 
a youth of the name of Tonnich. This plump little 
fellow was provided with a supply of stores containing 

Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

bad tinned meat, and was told to keep on till he came up 
with Lindstrom and Talurnakto. He took with him a 
long solemn letter to Lindstrom expressing deep anxiety 
as to the "great scientific expedition " he was leading, 


and at the same time hoping that the relief expedition 
under Tonnich, the Eskimo, might find the two brave 
travellers alive, and rescue them l)efore it was too late. 
When they returned on July 9th, they were received 


Chapter IX. 

with great ovation, and all kinds of undesirable attentions. 
The result of the expedition consisted of forty eggs 
and a few eider ducks. The scientific report was short. 
Kaa-aagfa ano-i was a river about as broad as the Nid 
River, at Trondhjem, and the fauna and flora were 
richest at the station. Lieutenant Hansen had in the 
meantime been over to the Duke of Abruzzi's Point and 
determined its position, but it is not pleasant to go for 
sledge trips at this time of the year, and the Lieutenant 
returned soaking wet. 

In the the middle of July I discarded Eskimo apparel 
and dressed again in my own clothes. I had worn 
Eskimo dress continuously for twenty months, and had 
had an opportunity of forming an opinion as to its 
utility. For winter use in these regions, as previously 
stated, light deerskin clothes are the best, and they ought 
to be made loose, although during the most intense cold 
and towards the springs, like the Eskimo, I wore a broad 
belt of reindeer or wolf skin around the abdomen, to 
keep the cold air from this sensitive part. In summer, 
on the other hand, it is not advisable to wear deerskin 
clothes, as they get soaked through when it rains. 
I came to the conclusion that woollen underclothing with 
sealskin outer clothino- was the most suitable for summer 
wear. I always wore deerskin stockings with the hair 
inwards. I put sedge grass in the feet of the stockings, 
and outside these I wore deerskin boots with the hairy 
side outwards. Thus protected, the feet cannot be 
injured in any way. The sedge grass absorbs the 


Farewell to Gjoahavn, 

moisture, so that if the grass is taken out at night and 
dried, the boots will be kept pretty free from damp. 
To make quite sure, the stocking may be turned inside 
out at night. 

At the end of July the Ogchoktu Swimming School was 
started ; Wiik and Ristvedt being the teachers, and Hansen 
and Lund the pupils. A fresh water pond near the boat 
was used as the swimming-bath, and here they bathed every 
evening as long as the weather was warm enough. The 
temperature of the water was about 59° Fahr., which was 
not bad for Polar regions. In the beginning they used 
swimming ropes, but, as the pupils were rather quick at 
learning, they were soon able to dispense with these. 
Sometimes the Eskimo came and looked at them, and 
went away convinced that the Kablunas were mad. One 
would have thought that these people who lived so much 
on the water could swim ; but no, not one of them could 
swim a stroke, and if they fell into the water they sank 
like stones. Later on we had a very sad proof of this. 
It is, however, by no means unusual for seafaring people 
to be unable to swim ; in support of this I need only 
mention our own fishermen at home. 

It had for some time past been decided that our faithful 
companion, Talurnakto, should accompany us further west, 
and afterwards possibly go home with us. Talurnakto felt 
as if he were half a white man, and considered himself 
quite above his kinsmen ; there were few among them 
with whom he would condescend to converse. But now, 
as the ice began to get thin and the time of departure 

Chapter IX. 

approached, Talurnakto seemed to have some misgivings. 

He had fits of melancholy, and would remain sitting for 

hours at a time. At first I did not take much notice of 

it ; I thought it was probably a little love-sickness, or 

something of the sort ; but one day, when he was sitting 

in the cabin, he burst into tears, and, seeing that it must 

be something more serious, I asked him what it was. 

He sobbed bitterly, and it was a long time before I could 

get anything coherent from him. Finally I found out 

that he did not want to come with us to " Kabluna 

nuna " — the land of the white men — as they might kill 

him. I assured him that we were perfect angels, who 

would do everything that was good for him, but it was of 

no avail. He would not be convinced, and pointed to 

some of the pictures of the Boer War. At length I told 

him that if he did not wish to accompany us we could 

not and would not force him to do so. At this he was 

considerably relieved, and his old glad smile again 

returned. He evidently thought we had him altogether 

in our power — that we owned him, body and soul ; thus 

the eighth member of the expedition was lost. As, 

however, I considered it important to have an Eskimo 

with us for the rest of the voyage, I made it known that 

Talurnakto's place was vacant. Shortly afterwards the 

vacant post was applied for by Tonnich, the stout young 

fellow who was charged with the relief expedition to 

Lindstrom. He was evidently very anxious to see more 

southerly regions. Now, Tonnich was not exactly the 

man I would have preferred ; he was heavy, clumsy, and 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

slow in his movements, but as no others applied and he 
was always in very good humour, even for an Eskimo, 
and his conduct had been exemplary, his application was 
accepted. It was a very solemn moment when Tonnich 
set foot on board as eighth man. A bucket of water, 
scrubbing brush, and soap awaited him. To become a 

white man it was absolutely necessary to be thoroughly 
washed. Wiik supervised the cleaning operation on the 
deck, so I was sure it was thoroughly done. His hair 
was clipped and combed and dusted over with insecticide 
powder, and after that he was clad in normal under- 
clothing. He now considered that the preparations were 


Chapter IX. 

completed, and wanted to go at once and submit himself 
for inspection, but he was given to understand that this 
was not the usual walking costume, and he was then 
garbed in a brand-new suit of frieze, made in the prison 
at home. No one ever felt prouder of their clothes than 
Tonnich ; he laughed with joy, stroked the clothes, and 
examined himself at all points. 

A few days afterwards Talurnakto and two others 
came with no less than seventy fine salmon, weighing 
from six to eleven pounds each ; in fact, one weighed 
over seventeen pounds. They were caught at Navyato, 
and were quite fresh. They were a splendid addition 
to our stores for the rest of the voyage, the only 
difficulty being how best to preserve them. It would be 
too monotonous to be eating salted salmon everyday, 
so Lund proposed to smoke them. Smoked salmon ! 
the very idea made our mouths water, and Lund's 
proposal was received with acclamation. He imme- 
diately started " The Ogchoktu Smoked Fish Factory " ; 
all he needed was a supply of empty barrels and cases, 
A number of Eskimo boys were engaged to fetch fuel. 
A very small kind of heather grew about here in places, 
and the boys were sent to collect some. They returned 
with several sacks full, and smoke was soon issuing from 
the factory chimney. It was not long before the first 
sample salmon was ready to be served. It surpassed 
our utmost expectations. The smoked salmon was 
excellent, and no better could, have been obtained from 
any first-class curing establishment at home. 


Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

On July 23rd we met with an accident which might 
have had very serious results. It was Sunday, and 
Lindstrom was about to prepare the midday meal. For 
this he had to light the " Primus " stove, and was 
kneeling over the apparatus as usual to get a better 
purchase on the pumping arrangement, so that he had 
his face quite close down to the burner ; just as he 
had got it almost in order, it suddenly exploded in his 
face. He had the presence of mind to seize the 
apparatus and throw it out. It fell through the open 
hatchway right down into the hold, but fortunately it 
was empty. Those in the after-cabin heard a great 
noise and rushed out ; matters looked very bad as the 
flames burst out of the galley door, but the water hose 
was lying close by on the deck, and so the fire was put 
out in a minute. No injury was done to the galley, but 
poor Lindstrom got badly scorched. I was sitting in 
the fore-cabin chatting with Lund and we heard a litde 
noise, but not more than I often heard when the boys 
were wrestling. Suddenly Lindstrom rushed in with 
his face all red and swollen. It flashed on me that 
there had been a batde for the first time, and that 
Lindstrom had had a good thrashing. He was so 
excited that it was some minutes before he could say 
" Fire ! " Lund and I rushed out, but it was all 
extino-uished. Lindstrom's face and hands were badly 
burned. He was rubbed over with egg unguent, but 
the pain nearly drove him out of his senses. Later, 
however, in the evening, it eased a little, and the Lieu- 


Chapter IX. 

tenant applied bandages. The next day Lindstrom's 
good humour had returned, but his appearance was 
dreadful ; he looked like a drunken, dissipated fellow, 
and was nicknamed " Biffen " (beef) ; it was almost a 
fortnight before he looked himself again. 

Durinor this time Hansen had to take over the duties 
of cook, and he performed them very satisfactorily. 
In baking bread, indeed, he excelled the chief cook. 
The fact was that whatever Hansen did he did 
thoroughly, and when Hansen kneaded dough he 
did it with such energy that you feared both for the 
dough and the trough, although the result after the 
baking was finished was the most delicious pastry. 
Hansen cooked all his dishes to the accompaniment 
of music ; he fried croquettes to the tune of " Vikinge- 
balken " from " Frithjofs Saga," which was, indeed, his 
only source ; cutlets were cooked to the accompaniment 
of " Isfarten," and blood pudding to " Kong Rings 
Dod," so you could guess what the menu was though 
you were some distance away on shore. 

Lieutenant Hansen and Talurnakto took a trip to 
Pfeffer River, situated about twenty miles to the west 
on King William Land, to collect fossils. The channels 
were now so wide that we could row a boat along them. 

On July 28th, for the first time this summer, the 

harbour was free from ice. Out in the straits we saw 

that the Ice had a bluish tinge, but no cracks were 

visible. In the previous summer the rivers had been 

exceptionally full owing to the great quantities of snow. 



Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

This year they flowed quiet and still, and exerted hardly 
any influence on the breaking up of the ice, so we had 
to depend on the sun and wind. There was hardly any 
current ; but for a long' time we had a scorching sun 
every day, and the prospects were rather bright. 
Towards the end of July the heat ceased definitely, 
but now the wind came to our assistance. On the night 
of July 31st a breeze blew up from the north-east with 
squalls, and sleet fell so heavily that the whole land was 
white. We had been very anxious about our departure 
for some time, and were looking out for this north wind 
with a good deal of excitement. The best of the 
summer was now over, and the nights, the worst enemy 
to our further progress, had begun to be noticeable. 
The ice out in Simpson Strait had up to the present 
kept exceptionally quiet ; no channels had formed, and 
the ice seemed just as compact and impenetrable as it 
had been the whole winter. The bluish tinge was, 
however, a sure sign that it would not need much force 
to break it up. The only spot of open water was out- 
side Ristvedt River, which was like a bay cut into the 
ice, and here the grale would oet a orood hold and beein 
the breaking up in earnest. And so it happened ; in the 
course of a few days the north-east wind worked 
wonders. The ice went over to the south, and laro-e 
channels opened in it in many directions. 

We were now free to set sail. With the exception of 
the meteorological instruments and the dogs, which had 
to remain on the land till the last moment, everything 

VOL. II. .99 . . - H 2 

Chapter IX. 

was on board. The hold was almost completely filled 
with all our collections. Our most important belongings 
stood in the main hatchway. First and foremost were 
the two large re-soldered iron tanks in which were pre- 
served all the observations we had made during these 
two years. They were so arranged that if they were 
thrown overboard they would float ; both had been 
marked with the name of the ship. Round these we 
arranged stores for fourteen days, as well as ammunition 
and other articles packed in small cases, ready for 
removal in the event of our being compelled to leave the 
ship. Here also each of us had his sack of waterproof 
and other clothing as well as such necessaries as would 
be required under the circumstances. All our boats and 
canvas-covered kayaks were perfectly arranged ready to 
stand a gale. We had made the necessary preparations 
for sounding our way as we went, till we came out on the 
other side. We had further prepared three hand- 
sounding lines, and I arranged a patent pulley on the 
anchor chocks over which the lead-line ran easily. We 
had previously distributed the watches as follows : one 
man at the helm, one in the crow's nest and one at the 
engine. We deck hands had to arrange matters so that 
three of us were on deck whilst the fourth took his rest. 
The engineers took watch in turn and the cook gave us 
a helping hand whenever he could. We all knew that 
we were going to have a rough time of it, but the 
splendid relations which had always existed between us 
so strongly united us that although we were only seven, 
we were not easily discouraged. 

Farewell to Gjoahavn. 

From " Axel Steen's Hill " we had a splendid view to 
the west over the Strait, and I went up there two or 
three times a day during the next fortnight. On 
August 1 2th we again got a fresh northerly breeze and 
realised that if we were to get off, we must take 
advantagfe of this. Lieutenant Hansen, Lund, and 
myself went up to Steen's Hill in the morning. Fhe 
ice which up to the present had held fast to King 
William Land alono- the coast from Booth's Point had 
now let go its hold, and the channels were open. At 
4 o'clock in the evening we were up there again. Fhe 
ice was still lying around Fodd Islands but we thought 
we could see open water beyond them. 

Fhe time had now come and we must make an effort. 
Fhe departure was fixed for 3 o'clock the next morning ; 
the last preparations were made, the dogs were put on 
board and after the observations at 9 p.m. the meteoro- 
loofical instruments were also brought on board. 

It was with a very peculiar sensation that I went on 
board for the last time. Fhere was undoubtedly much 
sorrow mingled with my gladness at leaving. Fhanks 
to my comrades I left Gjoahavn with nothing but happy 
memories. We had never had a misunderstanding or 
dispute of any kind. And now as I look back on all 
that long period I inwardly recall good humour, song, 
and laughter, and my memories are consequently 
associated with feelings of gratitude to my comrades for 
the pleasant days passed at Gjoahavn, 


The North West Passage. 

Of problems connected with Arctic research, the naviga- 
tion of the passage to the north of the American Continent 
has been by far the most interesting to humanity. More 
Hves and treasure have been sacrificed in its solution than 
in that of almost any other problem. As there is, however, 
a whole library concerning the " North West Passage," 
I shall content myself with brief reference to it rather 
than weary my readers with a historical essay on the 
subject. I will confine myself to mentioning those 
voyages and those explorers whose achievements were 
of the greatest value in the planning and execution of 
the " Gjoa " Expedition. 

John Davis set sail in the year 1585, with the view of 
discoverino- the North West Passao-e. The result was 
the discovery of the strait between Greenland and 
Labrador bearing his name. Bylot and Baffin made a 
fair start in 161 6, circumnavigating Baffin's Bay and 
defining the situation of Lancaster Strait. Dejnev, a 
Pole, made his way past the north-eastern part of Asia 
as far back as 1648, and discovered the strait between 
that continent and America. But his discovery did not 

The North West Passage. 

become very widely known, and it was a Dane, Vitus 
Behring, who was the first to make his way through the 
same strait in 1728, and who had the real credit of dis- 
covering Behrino- Strait. A orood start towards the 
North West Passage was made by these discoveries, but 
much still remained to be done. In 1778, Captain 
James Cook penetrated northwards through Behring 
Strait, and discovered Icy Cape. After this the problem 
was allowed to rest for a number of years, until attacked 
again in 181 7 by the able captain of an English whaler, 
William Scoresby, Junior. He was of opinion that the 
state of the ice had improved sufficiently to warrant fresh 
attempts. It was thus that John Ross, a Captain in the 
English Navy, opened the nineteenth century campaign 
to conquer the North West Passage. In 1743 the 
English Government had offered a reward of ;f 20,000 
for the solution of the problem, and now it renewed its 
promise. John Ross left in 18 18 with the sailing vessels 
"Isabella" and "Alexander," but fortune did not smile 
on him. He sailed round Baffin's Bay, passed Smith 
Sound, and then stood off to the south. At the entrance 
to Lancaster Sound he suddenly turned homewards. He 
insisted that the Sound did not exist, and that it was 
merely a bay. The mountains which he thought he 
sighted at the inner side of this bay he christened the 
Croker Mountains. As, however, all his officers refuted 
his assertions, and maintained that there was a channel, 
Edward Parry, the capable chief officer of Captain Ross, 
was sent out in the following year. He not only proved 


Chapter X. 

the existence of the Sound, but made his way a long 
distance westwards, wintering with his two ships, the 
" Hecla " and " Griper," at Melville Island, This was a 
giant stride, and the name of Parry must be recorded 
among the foremost in the history of the North West 
Passage. John Ross, meanwhile, had not lost heart. 
In 1829 he again went northwards with the "Victory," 
a paddle-steamer. This was the first time a steamer was 
used in the Arctic Ocean. It is, however, needless to 
say that with large paddle-boxes it was impossible to 
make much progress in the ice. John Ross passed four 
winters on the eastern side of Boothia Felix, and was 
finally compelled to get back in boats, as his vessel was 
crushed in the ice. Very good results were obtained by 
this expedition. In later years, his nephew, James Clark 
Ross, the celebrated Polar explorer, found and deter- 
mined the position of the Magnetic Pole. Our knowledge 
of the geography of these regions was also considerably 
extended, and John Ross regained, in a great measure, 
his lost reputation. The greater portion of the North 
American coast was mapped out by means of expeditions 
in boats, particularly by Franklin in 18 19-1822 and 
1 825-1 827. Dease and Simpson continued the work in 
1 837-1 839. The whole of the North American coast 
was thus, in the main, known, but the North West 
Passage had not yet been discovered. 

Franklin left England in 1845 with the " Erebus " and 
the " Terror," and favourable results were confidently 

looked for. Franklin had, during his two previous 


The North West Passage. 

expeditions, shown such signal capacity that success 
seemed certain. But, as we Ivuow too well, these hopes 
were not to be realised. Not a sino-le man of the 
134 members of the Franklin Expedition ever returned. 
The uncertainty of Franklin's fate became, during the 
following years, a burning question to the whole world, 
and many relief and search expeditions were sent out. 
Many of these did good work ; but the expeditions of 
Admiral Sir Richard Collinson and Dr. John Rae, 
especially, were the most important steps towards the 
final achievement of the navigation of the North West 
Passage. Admiral Collinson sailed in 1850, on the 
" Enterprise," into Behring Strait and examined the 
West Coast of Prince Albert Land and Wollaston 
Land, where he passed the winter. The following year 
he proceeded through Dolphin and Union Strait into 
Coronation Gulf and onwards through Dease Strait, 
where he was again compelled to winter, in Cambridge 
Bay, on the south coast of Victoria Land. His sound- 
ings and survey of this narrow and foul channel were 
very helpful to the " Gjoa " Expedition. Sir Richard 
Collinson appears to me to have been one of the most 
capable and enterprising sailors the world has ever pro- 
duced. He guided his great, heavy vessel into waters 
that hardly afforded sufficient room for the tiny " Gjoa." 
But, better still, he brought her safely home. His 
recompense for the heroism shown was, however, but 
scant. His second in command, Sir Robert M'Clure, 
who had had to abandon his vessel, the " Investigator," 


Chapter X. 

in Mercy Bay, on the north-east coast of Bank's Land, 
and who was then helped home by others, received all the 
honour, and one-half of the promised reward went to 
him and his men as discoverers of the North West 
Passage. Both of these expeditions were of the greatest 
importance as a guide to the navigation of the passage. 
M'Clure had proved that it was impracticable to make 
the passage by the route he tried. To Collinson 
belonged the still greater merit of pointing out a really 
practicable way for vessels — as far as he reached. In 
other words, M'Clure found a North West Passage 
which was not navigable ; Collinson found one which 
was practicable, although not suitable for ordinary 

Dr. John Rae was one of the Hudson Bay Company's 
medical officers. He deserves great credit for his explora- 
tion of North Eastern America. His work was of 
incalculable value to the " Gjoa " Expedition. He 
discovered Rae Strait, which separates King William 
Land from the mainland. In all probability the passage 
through this strait is the only navigable route for the 
voyage round the north coast of America. This is the 
only passage which is free from the destructive pack-ice. 
The distinguished Arctic explorer, Admiral Sir Leopold 
M'Clintock, pointed out this passage in his report on the 
"Fox" Expedition in 1857 — 59, and proved that if the 
North West Passage were ever to be accomplished, it 
would be through this channel. I followed the advice of 

this experienced sailor and had no reason to regret it. 


The North West Passage. 

Precisely at 3 a.m. on August 13th, 1905, the windlass 
played a lively tune on the deck of the " Gjoa." The 
weather was not of the finest — thick fog and a light 
contrary breeze. We therefore set the motor going full 
speed ahead when leaving the harbour. The Eskimo 
had assembled in the early morning on shore to wish 
us a last " Manik-tu-mi ! " Talurnakto accompanied us 
out towards Fram Point, and we could hear him calling 
out his "God-da! God-da!" (good-day) long after he 
was lost in the fog. 

We jumped, so to speak, right into the same doubtful 

navigation as before, impenetrable fog, no compass, and 

a very changeable breeze, which was therefore a poor 

guide. The lead was thrown continually. I put Hansen 

and Lund on the look-out in the crow's nest, they being 

the best qualified men for the job, for the cards had to 

be played judiciously in this game if one wished to come 

out a winner. The Lieutenant and I myself took the 

helm in turn, from which point we could better survey 

the route. Ristvedt and Wiik looked after the engine. 

The man attending to the soundings had his full share 

of work ; the lead flew up and down so rapidly that it 

was almost a wonder it did not melt. Ten fathoms and 

a clay bottom, was the report ; then again, eight fathoms, 

stone ; ten fathoms and clay. The bottom along Simpson 

Strait, off King William Land, was level ; sand and clay 

alternated, and the depth was uniformly about ten 

fathoms. In this manner we groped our way as far 

as Booth Point, where we were compelled to stop, as we 


Chapter X. 

could not see our way clear to get through the ice, large 
quantities of which were drifting in an easterly direction. 
We anchored to leeward of a low rock outside the point, 
where we were sheltered from the driftinof ice. Now 
and again the fog lifted a bit and we could see Todd 
Islands ahead of us, surrounded by plenty of ice. To 
the west of this group of islands we could see open water, 
and the point was to reach it. At 3 o'clock in the after- 
noon the fog quite cleared, so that we could gauge our 
position properly. We were not far from Todd Islands, 
consisting of three very low islets, large enough, however, 
to collect a quantity of ice. It did not look very promising 
from the masthead. There was, it is true, a strip of open 
water between the bulk of the ice and the most distant 
island ; but it was not reasonable to suppose that this 
narrow channel extended far inwards, as the ice was 
drifting at a great speed eastwards, and was probably 
lying against the western side of the island. How- 
ever, the best way was to go and see. The weather 
had meantime become splendid, brilliantly clear, and 
practically a dead calm. As we advanced and were 
able to survey the southern point of the island, our 
anxiety was increased as to whether the ice was lying 
close up to the western side or not. A channel — so 
narrow that at a distance it seemed barely to afford room 
for a rowing boat to pass — was all the open space 
between the main pack and the island. Then it was 
a question whether the channel was deep enough. 
Everything depended upon the configuration of the 

The North West Passage. 

island. " I think we shall gret throuQrh," Lund called 
out from the crow's nest. " I notice stones at the 
bottom, but we can go close to the shore." This was 
precisely what we had to do, to squeeze through. 
Fortunately the west coast of the island was perpendi- 
cular, with no shallow bottom near it. But it was only 
a margin of a few inches, compared with the " Gjoa's " 
beam, that prevented us from getting stuck. We all 
heaved a sigh of relief when we had open water ahead of 
us, to the west. 

The Lieutenant and Helmer Hansen, when making 
their boat trip in 1904, had found two skeletons above 
ground at Hall Point. These were skeletons of white 
men ; two, no doubt, of Franklin's companions. They 
buried the remains and built a cairn over their o-rave. 
We passed the point just as the sun was setting, and 
with our colours flying in honour of the dead we went 
by the grave in solemn silence ; the sky and the land 
then crlowino- with a soft red, oolden lio-ht. Our 
victorious little ''Gjoa"was honouring her unfortunate 

When I came on deck at 2 o'clock next mornino- we 

were abreast of Douglas Bay. Tonnich, who knew the 

locality, gave us the names of the various prominences 

on the land. He had also noticed the camp where all 

our Eskimo stayed. It was Kamiglu, a little elevation 

of about one hundred feet. The tents stood out ao-ainst 

the sky, and we could also see the outline of the flagstaff 

and the little flag. As heavy clouds of fog were now 


Chapter X. 

rolling in and becoming very dense over the narrowest 
part of Simpson Strait, between Eta Island and the land, 
we made a straight course for Kamiglu. The bottom 
near the mainland was very uneven, and we therefore 
cast anchor a good distance from land. As the fog was 
thickening round our vessel, we started blowing the fog- 
horn at intervals in order to attract the attention of the 
Eskimo. And soon a kayak shot out of the fog and 
a hearty " Manik-tu-mi " greeted us. It was Nulieiu, 
and he was soon followed by others. They were all 
pleased to see us again, and Lund and I jumped in the 
dory to accompany them ashore. The fog was no obstacle 
to the Eskimo. They laughed at us when we asked 
if they could find their way, and they set off at full speed. 
Although we had about three-quarters of an hour to row, 
we went straight to their landing-place. For these 
people to have been able to row a straight course with 
such extraordinary precision, without a glimmer of day- 
light, seems to show that they must be possessed of a 
sixth sense. 

The focr was not so dense inland. Kamielu is a 
peninsula with almost perpendicular sides all round, and 
is only connected with the mainland by a narrow neck 
between lagoons, both from the east and from the west. 
Our friends had their habitations in seven tents on the 
top, in a perfect Arctic paradise. Down below, in the 
lagoons, they caught all the fish required, and there were 
great herds of reindeer round the large lakes on the 
plains. They had killed many and had plenty of meat ; 

The North West Passage. 

but most of it was kept in depots out in the open. They 
were quite willing to fetch it, but as it would take several 
hours, we abandoned the project and contented ourselves 
with that obtainable in the camp. We went round bidding 
good-bye to our old friends ; it might be a long while 
before we met again. At the same time we collected all 
the meat and dried salmon we could get. Standing 


outside Umiktuallu 's tent was his foster-son, Maniracha, 
or Manni as we called him for short. He was attired in 
a pair of sealskin trousers and a greasy old jacket he had 
got in exchange for something on board. He looked, by 
the way, as if he had forgotten his morning's ablution ; 
that, however, might happen to anybody. Several 
months ago Manni asked me, in Ogchoktu, if he might 
be allowed to accompany me back to the land of the 

VOL. II. 113 I 

Chapter X. 

white men. I took his request at that time merely as 

a sign of his courage, without any serious meaning. 

However, it seemed to be otherwise. He had just got 

to know that Tonnich was with us and that he himself 

was thus shut out ; and now he was standing outside the 

tent crying bitterly. I approached him and asked if 

he really was so keen upon accompanying us ; the tears 

were simply streaming down the boy's face, and I was 

really sorry for him when he assured me that this was 

his only desire in life. Besides, I was ashamed of 

breaking my promise and felt annoyed ; in fact, I would 

much rather have had Manni along with me than 

Tonnich. Manni was a quick and smart young fellow 

and not over seventeen years of age. In this quandary 

I told him that he might accompany me on board for 

the present, and I would then see what could be done 

for him. 

At 7 o'clock in the morning the fog began to lift, and I 

thought it better to get on board and proceed further, as 

soon as the weather got clear enough. We rowed back 

to our ship in the dory with thirty-six magnificent joints 

of reindeer and a large quantity of dried salmon. The 

" Owl," Manni and two more Eskimo accompanied us, 

besides four others in their kayaks. Towards 8 o'clock 

we got on board, the sky being then nearly clear. Only 

over Eta was it still foggy. I settled with the Eskimo 

and paid them in ammunition for the meat and salmon. 

After that I consulted with my shipmates on the subject 

of Manni. We all agreed upon taking him with us rather 


The North West Passage. 

than Tonnich, who, on arrival on board, had been dubbed 
by the appropriate nickname of " Pork - Johnny." 
Mr. Johnny then came before me, and I tackled him 
thus : " Well, Johnny, is it true that you absolutely wish 
to accompany us to the land of the Kablunas ? " To 
this he replied immediately and with surprising frankness : 
" No, not he ; he had no wish to do so ! " It was really 
no easy matter to find out the intentions of these people. 
Three days ago he would have sacrificed half of his life 
to come alono- with us, and now, after livinsf on board 
like a prince, he had changed his mind. I took this 
surprise-packet with equanimity, as the Manni question 
was thus settled. Not entirely, however. His foster- 
father, Umiktuallu, had still to have his say in the matter 
— the same pleasant foster-father who had, previously, 
killed another foster-son by stabbing him. I had first to 
get his permission to take the boy along with me. And, 
of course, I did not get his consent. Umiktuallu, who 
had come on board, wanted payment for the boy. A file 
and an old knife, however, satisfied him, so he did not 
value his foster-son at a very exorbitant price after all. 

By now the fog had entirely disappeared. We took a 
last cordial farewell of the " Owl " and our other special 
friends among the Nechilli tribe and set off. We had 
before us a most lovely clear summer's day, mild, and 
perfectly calm. Eta was lying right in the middle of 
Simpson Strait like a giant who wanted to stay our 
progress. The two sounds that lay between King 
William Land to the north and the mainland to the south 

IIS I 2 

Chapter X. 

were not wide. As my readers may remember, Lieu- 
tenant and Helmer Hansen had ascertained that the 
Northern Channel was impassable for the " Gjoa." We 
centred our hopes, therefore, on the southern one. It 
was not more than three-quarters of a mile wide, and we 
knew it was foul. We had long talked about this passage 
and shuddered at the thought of it. Now we had got to 
it, and we proceeded with the greatest caution. None of 
us will easily forget that morning watch. I believe this 
was our most exciting passage. It was getting shallower 
and shallower up towards the Sound, but our look-out 
man reported deeper water beyond the reef we had to 
pass. The lead was used continually, and the man at 
the helm had no chance of going to sleep. The helm 
went from board to board the whole time, just as if we 
were in thick ice, and, though we managed to get through 
the Eta Strait, I can vouch for it, as it was my turn at 
the helm, that the passage did not, by any means, 
resemble a bee-line. The shallowest water we found was 
three fathoms. 

During the lovely afternoon we had more breath- 
ing space again ; it had become broiling hot and 
the sea was perfectly calm. Small lumps of ice were 
pitching and nodding here and there on the water, with a 
blue-ereen reflection in the sun. The lead was still 
going, but not so feverishly as during the forenoon. 
The man at the helm was standing dozing and at ease. 
We could now oive some attention to Manni, who 
hitherto had had to look after himself. I handed him 


The North West Passage. 

over to Ristvedt, who had the afternoon watch lookino- 

after the engine, to make him a Kabluna. Considering 
the quantity of soap and insect-powder utiHsed in the 
process, I was convinced that Manni had had a proper 
cleansing. We had not the heart to cut his long 
magnificent hair, but it was well combed, and we noticed 
no life in it afterwards. His get-up became somewhat pic- 
turesque : blue stockinette jacket, sealskin knee-breeches, 
white stockings and the Lieutenant's old low-cut dress- 
shoes. His head was covered with a light-blue bathing- 
cap, which I had at some time or another bought at a 
watering place. He won everybody's heart from the first 
start. Manni's laughter banished the most surly airs, and 
he was undoubtedly pleased with himself, too. He had, 
it is true, reached the paradise of the Eskimo : the place 
where you eat as much as you can possibly manage to 
stow away. By the bye, I was somewhat anxious as to 
the effect of the chancre of diet, but Manni did not suffer 
any ill-effects in this respect. He also enjoyed a smoke 
of tobacco. 

During the evening some ice made its appearance 
from the south, and presently the whole sea to the south 
was covered. The edge of the pack extended in a 
north-westerly direction, and compelled us to follow the 
same course. We kept alongside it all the way, and 
sighted a great many small islands in between. It was 
Queen Maud's Sea which was so full of ice. I had 
hoped to be able to pass the Nordenskjold Islands on 

the southern side, and near land. This, however, was 


Chapter X. 

out of the question. The ice was so tightly packed 
that we had to pass on the outside to make progress. 
Fortunately, the depth of the water did not hamper us ; 
we could find no bottom with the hand-lead. At 
daybreak, on August 15th, we had before us the large, 
newly-discovered group of islands extending as far as 
our sight could reach, in a north to south direction. 
The position was clear to us. The ice surrounded the 
whole group, and we could neither get round to the 
north nor to the south — we had to go straight through. 
From the aspect of the islands it was obvious that the 
waters between them were foul and filled with all sorts 
of nasty things. We had to get through a small stretch 
of ice extending^ all alon^ the eastern side of the islands, 
and about half a mile outside. We took note of the 
weakest point, went full speed ahead, all holding on 
tight. Although the " Gjoa" was small she gave some 
good thumps, and we got through without much trouble. 
We now had to follow the open channel southwards to 
find out whether there was a passage further south 
between the islands. The lead was again used con- 
tinuously, and we found the depth of water along the 
east coast to be uniformly thirteen fathoms. The channel 
now ceased, and branched off in the shape of a narrow 
sound between some small rocks. The current had 
probably formed this channel. The passage was not 
very inviting, but it was our only one, and forward we 
must go. 

As we turned westward, the soundings became alarm- 


The North West Passage. 

ing, the figures jumped from seventeen to five fathoms, 
and vice versa. From an even, sandy bottom we came 
to a ragged, stony one. We were in the midst of a most 
disconcerting chaos ; sharp stones faced us on every side, 
low-lying rocks of all shapes, and we bungled through 
zigzag, as if we were drunk. The lead flew up and 
down, down and up, and the man at the helm had to 
pay very close attention and keep his eye on the look-out 
man who jumped about in the crow's nest like a maniac, 
throwing his arms about for starboard and port respec- 
tively, keeping on the move all the time to watch the 
track. Now I see a bigf shallow extending from one islet 
right over to the other. We must get up to it and see. 
The anchors were clear to drop, should the water be too 
shallow, and we proceeded at a very slow rate. I was 
at the helm and kept shufiling my feet out of sheer 
nervousness. We barely managed to scrape over. In 
the afternoon things got worse than ever ; there was 
such a lot of stones that it was just like sailing through 
an uncleared field. Though chary of doing so, I was 
now compelled to lower a boat and take soundings ahead 
of us. This required all hands on deck, and it was 
anything but pleasant to have to do without the five 
hours' sleep obtainable under normal conditions. But 
it could not be helped. We crawled along in this 
manner, and by 6 p.m. we had reached Victoria Strait, 
leaving the crowd of islands behind us. The Sound we 
had passed we christened Palander Strait, after the 

able commander of the " Vega." The islands south 


Chapter X. 

thereof were named Nordenskjold Islands, after the 
leader of the "Vega" Expedition. The map of the 
islands made by Lieutenant Hansen proved most 

Victoria Strait was full of ice-floes, but loose enough 
to enable us to get through. Outside Lind Island it 
was thick, but we managed to slip through a narrow 
channel, getting out on the other side, and reaching open 
water again. As we were setting sail in the morning 
our gaff snapped. I then decided to seek refuge in 
Cambridge Bay, so as to get it repaired. Victoria Land 
was flat and monotonous. The Dease Strait is deep 
enough if you keep a couple of miles from the coast. 
There are shallows off all points and turnings. 

We anchored on August 17th, at 5 a.m., on the west 
side of Cape Colborne, and this was a significant day in 
the history of our Expedition — for we had now sailed 
the " Gjoa " thi'Oitgh the hitherto unsolved link in the 
North West Passage. We now felt we had got back 
again to fairly-known waters, so to speak. A sounding 
was now and then given on the chart, and we felt much 
more at ease, knowing that we had waters ahead of us 
which had been ploughed by a large vessel. 

Mount Pelly, mentioned by Collinson, is an excellent 
landmark and easily recognised. Though not more than 
800 feet high, it has a gigantic appearance as it rises in 
its isolation from the plain. I had made up my mind to 
row ashore and deposit a report, but it was blowing so 
hard off shore that I had to abandon my project. We 

The North West Passage. 

repaired the gaff and carried out a few odd jobs. The 
remainder of the day we had a rest, which we all sorely 
needed after our toil. It is well, under such circum- 
stances, to have a cook on whom you can fully rely ; we 
could safely leave the care of the vessel to Lindstrom, 
who was as grood a sailor as he was a cook. 

Next morning-, at 3 o'clock, saw us on the move again. 
Collinson's description of the waters was very helpful to 
us. He had throughout done excellent and reliable 
work. The sides of the large islands were steep, and 
the water, therefore, deep and clear. We passed through 
the Sound between Finlayson Island and the two small 
islets, situate at a distance of about a mile. We noticed 
the reef mentioned by Collinson, about two cable-lengths 
to the south-west of the island. The sea was entirely 
free from ice. 

Our compass, which, after the passage through Eta 
Strait, had begun to move again, now became quite 
lively. But we had, of course, to accept its indica- 
tions with the greatest caution. Next day we passed 
Richardson Islands. They are high and steep, and quite 
rich in vegetation. As islets and rocks fill the openings 
between them, they are not easy to distinguish from one 
another. In the afternoon we made for Miles Islands, 
so as to anchor for the night. But the contrary current 
and wind compelled us to give it up. There are several 
more islands in this group than are marked on the map. 
They are all steep towards the east, gradually sloping 
down towards the west. We lay to during the night of 

Chapter X. 

August 20th, near Douglas Island, and proceeded west- 
wards as soon as daylight made its first appearance. It 
turned out a difficult job to find the narrow sound leading 
out into the Dolphin and Union Straits, between the 
small islands situated here and Cape Krusenstern. We 
therefore proceeded northward, right between Douglas 
Island and Cape Krusenstern, in order to see if we could 
locate the opening. We, however, got on to a large 
shoal, which continued until it barred further progress 
that way. In other words, we had to proceed south- 
wards to get through. To make quite sure, we decided 
to cast anchor off Douglas Island and do the necessary 
survey from there. We anchored to the west of the 
island, half a mile off the shore, in five fathoms of water, 
with a stony bottom. Douglas Island is quite tiny and 
flat. There we found a little driftwood, carried out 
through the Coppermine River. Some old heaps of 
stone seemed to indicate that the Eskimo frequent the 
island. Lieutenant Hansen took the necessary sights, 
and, though we did not see any opening, we now knew 
where it was. 

To some, perhaps, it may occur that we could very 
well have done this survey under canvas, and that it was 
unnecessary to stop and retard our voyage on that 
account. This may be so, but it must not be forgotten 
that our position was not quite an ordinary one. Bearing 
in mind our running aground at Matty Island, we had 
quite decided not to risk a recurrence of that experience 
if we could possibly avoid it. We would rather sacrifice 

The North West Passage. 

a few hours than jeopardise our vessel in these very 

hazardous waters, with a racrgred stone bottom and shallow 

water under her keel, an unsafe compass, and a small 

crew. We were, so to speak, standing on the threshold 

of our goal, attempted unsuccessfully by so many before 

us, and, taking this into consideration, it was an easy 

task to restrain our impatience to get along as speedily 

as possible and out of our difficulties. 

At the first sign of daybreak we were at it again. We 

were compelled to keep southwards to avoid the shoals 

between the mainland and Douglas Island. The water 

was now getting deeper. Finding eventually that we 

had ofot far enouoh to the south, we turned off to the 

west, shaping our course towards the point where we 

expected to find an opening. It was an exciting time. 

Fortunately the deep water continued — we found nowhere 

less than seven fathoms — we neared the mainland without 

trouble, and found the passage all right. At 3 p.m. we 

passed Liston and Sutton Islands, and stood off into 

Dolphin and Union Strait. My relief at having thus 

got clear of the last difficult hole in the North West 

Passage was indescribable. I cannot deny that I had 

felt very nervous during the last few days. The thought 

that here in these troublesome waters we were running 

the risk of spoiling the whole of our so far successful 

enterprise was anything but pleasant, but it was always 

present to my mind. The whole responsibility for crew 

and the vessel rested on me, and I could not get rid of 

the possibility of returning home with the task unper- 


Chapter X. 

formed. The thought was anything but cheering. My 
hours of rest and sleep were principally spent, during this 
time, in brooding over such thoughts, and they were not 
very conducive to sleep. All our precautions and every- 
body's careful attention notwitstanding, any moment might 
have some surprise in store for us. I could not eat. At 
every meal-time I felt a devouring hunger, but I was 
unable to swallow my food. When finally we got out 
of our scrapes and I regained my usual calm, I had 
a most rapacious hunger to satisfy, and I would rather 
not mention what I managed to dispose of. 

We could now discontinue the laborious watches of 
eighteen hours a-day and revert to the normal arrange- 
ment of six-hour watches. Barring a few small interrup- 
tions in the shape of fog and contrary wind we made fair 
progress westwards. We did not sight Clerk Island at 
all, although the weather was clear, and it should have 
been well within range of vision. Its existence would, 
therefore, seem somewhat doubtful. We encountered 
small lots of ice now and then which reminded us that 
we were in the Arctic regions and must be prepared for 

On August 26th, at 4 p.m., we sighted a high land to 
windward. The air was very misty, and as, according 
to our reckoning, we should be abreast of Cape Parry, 
I thought this was that we saw. During the early 
morning the air became clearer, and I knew then that 
this land was not Cape Parry on the mainland of America, 

but Nelson Head on Baring Land. The error was not 


The North West Passage. 

quite insignificant, to be sure. But my misgivings on 
this head were appeased when told later by American 
whalers of the ludicrous mistakes they often made in 
these waters. There is probably a lot of iron in the 
mountains here, and the compass therefore becomes 
utterly distracted. Then there are strong currents, and 
the united influence of these factors may confuse the 
most conscientious navigator even more than it did when 
we mistook Nelson Head for Cape Parry. We were, of 
course, wholly unacquainted with the condition of things. 
When we had found our bearings, we continued our 
voyage at full speed, having a fair wind as well as the 
current right behind us. 

At 8 A.M. my watch was finished and I turned in. 
W^hen I had been asleep some time, I became conscious 
of a rushing to and fro on deck. Clearly there was 
something the matter, and I felt a bit annoyed that they 
should go on like that for the matter of a bear or a seal. 
It must be something of that kind, surely. But then 
Lieutenant Hansen came rushing down into the cabin 
and called out the ever memorable words : " Vessel in 
sight, sir ! " He bolted again immediately, and I was 

The North West Passage had been accomplished — 
my dream from childhood. This very moment it was 
fulfilled. I had a peculiar sensation in my throat ; I was 
somewhat overworked and tired, and I suppose it was 
weakness on my part, but I could feel tears coming to 
my eyes. " Vessel in sight ! " The words were magical. 


Chapter X. 

My home and those dear to me there at once appeared 
to me as if stretchinor out their hands — " Vessel in 
sight ! " 

I dressed myself in no time. When ready, I stopped 
a moment before Nansen's portrait on the wall. It 
seemed as if the picture had come to life, as if he winked 
at me, nodding, "Just what I thought, my boy!" I 
nodded back, smiling and happy, and went on deck. 

It was a wonderfully fine day. The breeze had veered 

round somewhat to the east, and with the wind abaft, 

and all sails set, we made excellent headway. It seemed 

as if the " Gjoa " understood that the hardest part of the 

struggle was over, she seemed so wonderfully light in 

her movements. Nelson Head was a long way off to 

the north. The flat-topped promontory looked grand 

i^n the morning sunshine, melting in the white snow, and 

throwing dark-blue shadows into the parallel fissures of 

the mountain side. A heavy, bright swell rocked the 

vessel pleasantly, and the air was mild and soft. All 

this was observed in a moment. But it did not arrest 

our attention for long. The only objects between sky 

and sea that possessed any interest for us then were the 

two mastheads on the horizon. All hands had come 

on deck, and all glasses were levelled at the approaching 

vessel. All faces were wreathed in smiles. Not much 

was said ; one of the telescopes was lowered — - — " I 

wonder ! " And it was raised again. Another one 

lowered the telescope, and also remarked : " I wonder ! " 

On the appearance of the unknown vessel we hoisted 


The North West Passage. 

our Norwegian flag. It glided slowly up under the gaff, 
every eye watching" it. Many pleasant words were 
whispered to the flag, it seemed as if everybody wanted 
to caress it. It had become a bit worn and ragged, but 
it bore its wounds with honour. 

" I wonder what he'll think when he sees it ? " 

" He'll think it is a venerable old flag." 

" Perhaps he's an American." 

" I shouldn't be surprised if he were an Englishman." 

" Yes, he will see by the flag what we are ! " 

" Oh, yes — he will see we are boys from good old 
Norway ! " 

The vessels were approaching each other very rapidly. 

" There ! up goes the American flag," sang out the 
watchman. He had the long telescope which had been 
placed on deck. This proved to be correct, and we 
could now all see the Stars and Stripes under the vessel's 
gaff. They had seen and recognised our flag by now, 
that was certain. Dense steam was issuingf from the 
vessel's side ; evidently they had a motor, the same as 
we had, and were advancing rapidly. 

It was time now to tidy ourselves a little in preparation 

for the first meetino'. Four of us were to q-q on board 

the ship, the other three had to remain on the " Gjoa " 

and look after our vessel. Our best clothes were 

hurriedly got out. We dressed ourselves according to 

our individual taste. Some preferred Eskimo costumes, 

and others our Norwegian russet. One found that 

sealskin boots looked best for the occasion, others pre- 


Chapter X. 

ferred ordinary sea-boots. We also cleared up on deck 
as well as we could. The American could certainly 
scan our deck in every detail, from his crow's nest, 
through his telescope, and we wanted to make as decent 
an impression as possible. We were now so near each 
other that the whole ship was visible from our deck. 
It was a small, two-masted schooner, painted black ; 
she had a powerful motor, and the foam at her bows 
was spurting high. She also carried sail. We got the 
boats clear, hove to, and lowered the dory, the most 
seaworthy of them. It was certainly not much to look 
at, and the commander had no easy stern-sheets, with 
a flag, to sit on. But the boat was in the style of the 
vessel to which it belonged, and we were not on a 
pleasure trip. The American had stopped his engine, 
and was waiting for us. With two men at the oars we 
were soon alongside of him. A line was thrown dow^n to 
us ; I caught it, and was again linked with civilisation. It 
did not, however, make its appearance in any great glory. 
The " Charles Hanson," of San Francisco, did not 
seem to be rigged out in a very luxurious manner. A 
ladder, by-the-bye, was superfluous, as the ship was deep 
in the water. We took hold of the chain-wales and 
crawled on board. Our first impression was most 
peculiar. Every available space on deck was occupied 
to such an extent that it was nearly impossible to get 
along. Eskimo women in red dresses, and negroes in 
the most variegated costumes were mingling together, 

just as in a land of fable. 


The North West Passage. 

An elderly nicin with a white beard advanced towards 
me on the quarter-deck. He was newly shaven, and 
nicely dressed, evidently the master of the ship. " Are 
you Captain Amundsen ? " was his first remark. I was 
quite surprised to hear that we were known so far 
away and answered in the affirmative, owning- that I was 
the man. "Is this the first vessel you have met ? " the 
old man asked. And when I admitted it was so, his 
countenance brightened up. We shook hands long and 
heartily. " I am exceedingly pleased to be the first one 
to welcome you on getting through the North West 
Passage." We were then most courteously invited down 
below to his cabin. There was not much room, though 
slightly more than on board our own vessel, the " Gjoa." 

Captain James McKenna, the master of the " Charles 
Hanson," was a man of medium height, corpulent and 
between fifty and sixty years of age. That he was an 
old Arctic trader was evident from his looks. The deep 
wrinkles and copper-coloured face told plainly of cold and 
murky weather. His personality was jovial and agree- 
able. He asked if we wanted anything, in which case 
he was ready to help us to the best of his ability. The 
only thing we missed so far was news from home. But 
unfortunately he had none. That is to say he had some 
old newspapers, but .... Old ! Yes to you ! To us 
they are certainly absolutely fresh ! He brought out a 
bundle, and by a wonderful coincidence my eye first 
alighted upon a head-line which made me stare. " War 
between Norway and Sweden." I swallowed the article 

VOL. II. 129 K 

Chapter X. 

in hot haste, but it only gave a moderate amount of 
information. Captain McKenna had left home long ago 
and could give no more particulars. We sought further 
information all over the ship, but no one knew any more 
about it. This uncertainty was more unsettling than our 
previous total ignorance, but it could not be helped ; we 
had to put aside our anxiety and wait. 

After a very good dinner Lieutenant Hansen and I 
began culling as much information as possible regarding 
the navieation ahead of us. McKenna was the Senior 
of the American whalers and knew the North American 
Coast better than anyone else. What we prized particu- 
larly was the set of American charts for the continuation 
of our voyage. They were of a more recent date than 
ours and contained many new items. With marginal 
notes and indications of courses by the old, experienced 
captain they were a real treasure to us. They were 
somewhat worn and tattered, and we, therefore, packed 
them up most carefully. Then about the condition of the 
ice. Did he think we could continue in a westerly 
direction without hindrance ? He told us that when 
inward bound he had been hampered by ice near 
Herschel Island, but that at the present late period of 
the season we were hardly likely to meet any obstacles of 
consequence. We would in any case reach Herschel 
Island quite easily. He was certain of this, and as he 
was himself going to winter on that island it might 
happen that we would meet again. Before going into 
winter quarters he intended making a trip as far as 

The North West Passage. 

Banks' Land to look for whales ; so far he had been 
unlucky and got none. His motor was very powerful, 
and he would probably catch us up on his return voyage 
to Herschel Island. In addition he gave us every 
possible information about the waters ahead of us. It 
was pleasant to hear that the bottom along the whole 
coast westwards was even, so that we could navigate 
safely by the lead. We had not been spoilt by safe navi- 
gation, so we looked upon the remainder of our voyage 
as a mere pleasure trip. 

The breeze kept up well, and as I considered I could 
not afford to lose more of it, we said good-bye to our 
amiable host after a visit of two hours' duration. When 
leaving he made us a present of a bag of potatoes and 
another of onions. As it was a long time since we tasted 
such luxuries, we gratefully accepted the gifts. 

We were awaited on board with eager expectation. 
For the present we agreed to look with great distrust on 
the reported war between the two united kingdoms. The 
potatoes and onions became the centre of joy, most of us 
being fond of these vegetables. We then dipped our 
flag, set all sail and continued our voyage. McKenna 
proceeded eastwards to try his luck. 

The next afternoon we passed Franklin Bay. " The 
smoking rocks," mentioned in several previous reports by 
travellers, were still active, thick smoke issuing therefrom. 
The Bay was unfortunately full of ice, so that we were 
unable to land and inspect the phenomenon more closely. 
On the outskirts of this ice a bear was standing, 

131 K 2 

Chapter X. 

evidently watching us with interest. A fit of blood-thirsti- 
ness naturally seized our hunters, and two of them 
fetched out their rifles and took to a boat. When Master 
Bruin smelt a rat he plunged into the sea and commenced 
swimming away. He was soon caught up, however, and 
shot. He was a comparatively small fellow, but the fur 
was exceptionally beautiful. The great Nimrod himself 
got the skin, and we gave the flesh to the dogs, who 
revelled in it. The flesh of the bear is not bad, but we 
had still plenty of reindeer-meat, so bear did not tempt 
us. We then went on again, but the hunters soon dis- 
covered more game. Two bears were lying on an ice- 
floe, apparently asleep, as they showed no sign of life. 
To the undoubted disappointment of our sportsmen I let 
them alone, however. The wind was fair and we must 
utilise it. There was plenty of ice, but still so loose that 
we could force our way through. However, we now had 
six hours' darkness during the night, and while this lasted 
we could not possibly keep going with the present state 
of the ice. As we made fast to the ice, in the evening, 
it was calm. When daylight appeared, the ice was lying 
close up to Cape Bathurst, without a fathom of open 
water. The ice was loose from north-east and also north 
to east. I thouoht it better to wait and bide our time. 
If the breeze from north-west eased ofl" during the day I 
had good hopes that the ice would drift from the land and 
make way for us. Fog also made its appearance with 
the north-west wind, and presently we could not see a 
yard ahead of us. Later in the clay the wind eased off 


The North West Passage. 

cis expected. The fog lifted, and by 5 p.m. we had it 
very fine and clear. Soon after, the ice began to move, 
but not in our favour, unfortunately. A great pack was 
gliding down upon us from the east and threatened to 
imprison us completely. The ice was still quite loose to 
the north, but it could not be long before we should feel 
the pressure of it as it advanced. In order not to be 
shut in I decided to get steam up, proceed to the north- 
west, and try if we could not go round the ice that way 
and get under land again further west. We just managed 
to squeeze out before the two packs of ice collided, but it 
had now become so dark that we could discern nothing. 
We were compelled, therefore, to stop and use our old 
tactics of lying-to. 

Next morning we found that while lying-to we had 
got a long way westward. But the loss was not very 
important. We had had the opportunity of ascertaining 
that we could not get along that way. We would 
have to try to get back to our old position, where 
any change must first be felt. The south-easterly 
breeze became fresher, and we had plenty of hard work 
beating our way back. But, when we reached our 
previous position, it turned out, sure enough, that the ice 
had dispersed, and we were thus able to proceed towards 
Cape Bathurst. There we found a channel which was 
not very broad, but being able to get close in shore we 
managed to get through. The coast here is a bold one. 

At 5 A.M. we passed two American whalers, who had 
their boats out lookingr for whales. We did not want to 


Chapter X. 

disturb them in their work, and, besides, we had no 
particular interest in talking to them. We therefore 
passed them by. It was my intention to go as far as 
Bailey Island, fill our water tanks at our ease, and pump 
petroleum from the fore tanks into the engine tanks. 
As, however, the wind was fresh from the south-east, and 
we made good headway, I thought it just as well to 
proceed. When passing Cape Bathurst we perceived a 
large number of Eskimo on shore. They waved and 
made signs to us, and even hoisted a flag. A large 
wooden house was to us a greeting from civilisation. 

At 4 P.M. on August 30th we passed Bailey Island, 
with a strong, fair wind, without sighting any ice. 
McKenna advised us to keep near land all the time, 
but, as things were shaping now, it was too tempting a 
prospect to proceed right across to Herschel Island, and 
thus shorten the voyage. This we accordingly did. 

Off Cape Bathurst we encountered the muddy, brown 
water which the Mackenzie River throws out. It is of 
no use to watch from the crow's nest, here, for shallows 
through these muddy waters, and the lead was our 
only guide. The bottom was even, however. The 
wind increased, and caused the sea to become a bit 
rough ; and it was no ordinary sea, with blue billows 
and white foam on the surface ; these billows were brown 
and the foam yellow, full of sand and gravel. The 
chart indicated a shallow of three and a half fathoms 
in this neighbourhood, and we did not care to come into 
contact with it in this kind of weather. The position 


The North West Passage. 

became a f^ood deal worse, owing- to numerous large 
masses of scattered drift ice, which it was difficult to 
steer clear of in the dark. All went well, however, and 
at daybreak next morning everything was all right. The 
breeze lasted all day. The weather, however, was dull, 
and we had to admit that McKenna was right, as we 
suddenly ran up against the big pack, rendering further 
progress impossible. We kept a southerly course along 
the edge of the ice. The depth was about eighteen 
fathoms, but decreased further south. When, at 8 r.M., 
we had reached eight fathoms, and it became pitch 
dark, we lay to till daybreak. During the night we 
found five fathoms of water. At 4 a.m. we proceeded 
westwards at a slow speed, using the lead all the time. 
The fog was impenetrable, but we had noticed the night 
before that we had a clear course to the west. However, 
there were a few islands here, which made us cautious. 
But, as we still kept at five fathoms after proceeding 
slowly for half-an-hour, I concluded that we were far 
enough away from land, and set all sail and put the 
motor at full speed ahead. We were then getting along 
splendidly. At 5 o'clock the fog lifted a bit, and we 
sighted an island about a mile to the south. This must 
be Hooper Island. At the same time we saw two 
barques, which were waiting their chance. Soon after- 
wards it became very dull again, with snow from the east. 
The " Gjoa " made good speed, the foam spurting off 
her. We used our foo-horn, hootino- and tootino- in 
honour of the vessels coming along. We passed several 


Chapter X. 

points covered with ice, which compelled us to keep a 
southerly course towards the Mackenzie River. 

At 1 1 A.M. it cleared again, and we then sighted two 
barques a long way behind us. They were making the 
same course as w^e and soon overtook us. They turned 
out to be the "Alexander" and the " Bowhead," of 
San Francisco, commanded by Captain Tilton and 
Captain Cook. The " Bowhead " was an old acquaint- 
ance. She had been bought from Norway, being 
previously used for many years in the Arctic trade, and 
known as the " Haardraade." Both vessels hailed us 
and proffered every assistance. We did not, however, 
need any, so we thanked them for their kind offers and 
let them pass. They informed us that they were now 
leaving the ice, homeward bound. But they were to call 
at Herschel Island first, and we mutually expressed our 
hopes that we might meet again there in a couple of 
days' time at the most. Our hopes were not, however, 
fulfilled quite so soon as we then thought they would be. 

During the night before September 2nd we again had 
a most unpleasant time of it, with four fathoms of water, 
plenty of ice, and pitch dark. We lay to as M^ell as we 
could, and in the morning we worked ourselves forward 
to reach the open channel. This was not very wide, but 
there was, fortunately, plenty of water close to the shore. 
By 2 P.M. the wind increased with squalls, and we were 
going at a great pace. Lund was in the crow's nest and 
I was at the helm. We carried full sail ; in the smooth 
sea we were not hampered by big waves, and we had 

The North West Passage. 

never made brisker headway with the " Gjoa." How- 
ever, one had to be quick with the hehn when surrounded 
by ice, and when we got into the channel, in the course 
of two hours and a-half, I could feel the effect of my 
turn at the helm. My hands were full of blisters, and 
my clothes were dripping wet from perspiration. The 
lead was ooincr the whole of the time. Close to the 
shore we found two fathoms of water. As the channel 
was too narrow to beat to the windward, all we could do 
was to make fast to the solid ice. We put out two ice 
grapnels. The land near which we were moored was 
Cape Sabine, about sixty feet high, steep towards the 
sea and flat on the top. We left the cook in possession 
and went ashore. The beach was quite covered with 
driftwood ; enormous quantities were piled up, and 
trunks fifty feet in length were by no means rare. All 
this wood seemed most glorious to us. Our gaff had 
been broken and repaired so many times that it was of 
no further use, and here we had plenty of material for 
gaffs. We separated along the shore and each of us 
looked about for the best pieces. There was enough to 
choose from. Even here on the hill, facing north, 
where no sunshine penetrates, except for a short time 
at night, we found some beautiful flowers. W^e col- 
lected some large bunches of forget-me-nots and other 
varieties for decorations on board. Then we walked 
up to the top of the hill to have a look further inland. 
Long, billowy fields, covered with high grass, extended 
so far as we could see, and in the valleys there were 


Chapter X. 

bushes exceeding the height of a man. To us this 
looked Hke a paradise. A few ducks were lying off the 
shore, but, to the disappointment of our hunters, we did 
not discover any other animal life. We proceeded a 
little further inland and hit upon a few discarded Eskimo 
huts. A couple of old sledges and bows and a rusty 
barrel of a muzzle-loader were articles that might have 
been left here by either white men or by Eskimo. 

Next morning the condition of the ice had not materi- 
ally improved. But the wind had abated sufficiently to 
allow us to proceed, by the aid of our motor, through 
the narrow channel. We fetched on board the pole 
intended for a new gaff, let go, and departed. About an 
hour later our look-out reported from the crow's nest that 
a boat was approaching us from land. At first we thought 
it was an Eskimo boat, but soon discovered it was manned 
by two white men and one Eskimo. We took them on 
board, and, curiously enough, the first of the men 
addressed us In Norwegian. He was a Norwegian, 
named Christian Sten, who had been second mate on 
board the schooner '* Bonanza," of San Francisco. The 
schooner left home simultaneously with us, and, like 
ourselves, had passed the winter in these regions. The 
vessel had, however, been damaged by ice and by 
stranding, and a few days ago they were compelled to 
run her ashore at King Point to save her from sinking. 
Mr. Sten was now staying ashore, with one of the vessel's 
harpooners and some Eskimo, to keep watch on the 
ship's provisions and other equipment. Captain Mogg, 


'O <s 

The North West Passage. 

the commander, had i^one with the remainder of the 
crew to Herschel Island, in boats, to find some means of 
o-ettino- southwards to San Francisco on board another 
ship. We could now see the wreck under the bold cape 
before us. Mr. Sten told us the ice was lying- close to 
King Point, and that for the present we could get no 
farther. He did not doubt, however, but that the ice 
would slacken. He had seen it break up as late as 
October 9th. 

We arrived at noon, and found the state of the ice as 
described by Sten. W^e approached a large sheet of 
solid ice lying outside the wreck, and made fast to it. 
Little did we dream then that King Point was to be our 
residence for the next ten months. We rowed ashore to 
have a look at the " Bonanza " and at Sten's little colony. 
Captain Tilton, of the "Alexander," was the oldest com- 
mander of the company to which the " Bonanza" also 
belonged, and, when sailing past, two days previously, 
he had given instructions to Sten to assist us with any- 
thing we might need. We were well provided, but, as 
such a friendly offer was made us, we profited by it to 
obtain a few things we could do with. We changed 
some canned provisions, as we wanted to try the 
American varieties, and Sten, on the other hand, wished 
to try the Norwegian. We obtained various other little 
articles, and I wish here to express my sincere gratitude 
for all the help afforded us by Sten and the " Bonanza." 
Sten had spent many winters on the North-American 

coast, and was in a position to give us much useful 


Chapter X. 

information about the country and the fairway. He also 
knew the Eskimo living" here, which was of great 

Manni had by this time accustomed himself to the life 
on board ; he was dressed entirely as a Kabluna, and, as 
he was an exceptionally clever huntsman, I had made 
him a present of a carbine and a shot gun, of which he 
was very proud ; he looked after them most carefully, 
I asked him if he would now like to leave us and go 
ashore, but he positively declined. I took him with me 
to visit the Eskimo staying with Sten, and, as it turned 
out, they easily understood each other. A word now and 
then might differ, but, taken altogether, their language 
was identical. These Eskimo, one man and three 
women, hailed from the Kotzebue Sound locality, near 
Behring Strait ; they had come there with the whalers. 
They called themselves Nunatarmiun Eskimo. The 
inhabitants on this coast called themselves Kagmallik 
Eskimo ; but civilisation had had its corrupting influence 
on them, so that, instead of several hundred families, 
their number was reduced to a handful. The Kagmallik 
Eskimo were taller and of a finer build than the 

Sten was busy building a house for himself on a small 
spot on the slope close to the provision and other stores 
that had been landed. We also paid a visit on board 
the " Bonanza." She had capsized near the land. The 
foremast had been cut away, but the mainmast was still 
standino-. A hawser was stretched from this to the 


The North West Passage. 

same ice where we had ran one ashore. The hold was 
full of water, and a quantity of casks and barrels were 
lloatlng about. Much material had been cut out of the 
vessel. With permission, we also took what we required, 
especially cordage, blocks, lanterns, &c. We also 
accepted, with pleasure, a small stove. Should we have 
to pass another winter here, which now appeared likely, 
it would come in very handy. Certainly, we had plenty 
of material to build ovens with, and a blacksmith capable 
of doing it. However, it was better to get one ready 
made and save the labour. It suited our palates also 
to oret a chanoe of diet. The canned American fruit, 
especially, was a great success on board the " Gjoa." 
We, also, were useful to Sten. He had a lot of work 
to do and needed assistance. He might, of course, get it 
later on from the Eskimo, but it was preferable to get 
it over before snow commenced to fall. 

We were not the only ones waiting for a change in 
the condition of the ice. A large number of Eskimo, 
who had left Herschel Island in boats for the Mackenzie 
River, were held up by the ice about four miles west 
of us. Erom the top of King Point we could see the 
riororine of a schooner, in the direction of Key Point, 
fifteen miles to the west. This vessel belonged to the 
Eskimo. They had bought it in exchange for furs and 
used it as a whaler. They had now run her ashore. 
However, they got her off before the ice closed up, and 
succeeded in reaching Herschel Island. The Eskimo 
living here are capable seamen, whalers, etc., and the 


Chapter X. 

Americans do not therefore bring a large crew, as they 
can find plenty of hands on the spot who are both more 
capable and manageable than their own. 

Ristvedt and Manni were out hunting and brought 
home a great many ptarmigan. The Lieutenant and I set 
nets and procured many a meal of fresh fish. Lund was 


working like a nigger to finish the new gaff, ready for 
our departure. Wiik and Hansen, at my request, 
volunteered to help Sten in building the house. The 
point was to get the roof on before the advent of the 
snow. Their help was an acquisition, and they also 
appreciated the change of duties, and more particularly 

diet. The days passed without any noticeable change 


The North West Passage. 

in the ice. We had to accustom ourselves to the proba- 
bility of remaining here for the winter. Our main 
concern was whether our anchorage was a safe one. The 
bay outside was very shallow and full of ice firmly planted 
on the bottom, so there was little [)rospect of being much 
squeezed. Stcn had alsc^ told us that three whalers had 
wintered here without discovering any movement of the 
ice. The channel was still open to the east, so that 
we could get out to Shingle Point, fifteen miles farther 
east, where there was said to be a small harbour. But 
this was rather uncertain, and as we had company and 
help on the spot, we decided to remain where we were. 

New ice, several inches thick, was now forming every 
night, and our fate was soon sealed for another winter. 
On Saturday, September 9th, we were able to walk on 
the ice, and we must therefore regard this as the opening 
chapter of our third winter. 



The Third Winter. 

On the very day the ice was strong enough to bear, 
we received our first visitor. It was Mr. Fraser, a 
missionary, coming from Herschel Island and bound 
to Fort McPherson, the Hudson Bay Company's most 
northern station on the Mackenzie River. As conductor 
he brought with him an Eskimo, named Roksi. They 
had had to stop on account of the ice, and were now 
hvino- in a tent on the shore, about four miles west of us. 
He reported that five vessels had been shut in by the 
ice in the harbour on Herschel Island. There were six 
other vessels to the east of us, exact positions uncertain. 
Thus no less than twelve vessels were here in the ice, 
and only three of them were prepared for wintering. 
This did not sound very promising. Roksi was a 
Kagmallik, and, as his father had been a chief, he 
considered himself a most important person. His kins- 
men, however, were by no means overawed by his 
pretended noble birth, and only laughed at him. These 
Eskimo had the nasty custom of punching holes in their 
under lips, at the corners of the mouth, and of inserting 

therein a pair of large bone buttons by way of ornament. 


The Third Winter 

The more civilised among them had, however, taken off 
the buttons. The holes would then contract and form 
nasty scars. 

On Monday, September iith, we started building 
ourselves a house. This winter we were going to have 
two, both constructed of driftwood. One was for us to 
live in, the other to serve as an observatory for the 


magnetic variation instruments. Our residence was to 
contain two rooms, a bedroom for four men and a 
combined kitchen and dining-room. All of us preferred 
living ashore. To avoid the humidity on board, I found 
it answered best to remove the entire cooking depart- 
ment ashore. Besides, our cook and Sten had become 
intimate friends, and we wished to profit by this as much 

147 L 2 

Chapter XI. 

as possible. Sten was, I may say, a splendid cook. 
He had an excellent large oven in his house, which 
was now completed, and he could prepare some wonderful 
dishes. The Lieutenant and I were to remain on board, 
together with Manni, to look after the ship. The 
architect and the smith undertook the erection of our 
residence. They decided to build it on the model of 
a Lapp turf hut, this being the most practical form. As 
assistants they had Hansen and Wiik. The most level 
spot on the slope was chosen for the site. The whole 
morning was spent in collecting materials. By the 
afternoon the two long walls had been completed. 
Meanwhile the Lieutenant and I made ourselves as 
comfortable as possible on board. The oven, which 
we had annexed from the " Bonanza," was erected, and 
this supplied us with all the warmth we had so missed 
during the past winters. We had, however, to saw and 
chop wood for the oven, but it did not take long to teach 
Manni this work. It was as well he should have some- 
thing to attend to. His duties were furthermore made 
to include keeping the cabin clean, i.e., sweeping away 
most of the dust, etc., every morning. Formerly we had 
had no time to do this more than once a week, and then 
it did not look very nice. The Lieutenant and I looked 
after the fishing. Every morning we made an opening 
in the ice and pulled up the fish we required. We 
generally secured between twenty and thirty " whitefish," 
a species found in abundance along the North American 
coast. It much resembles a larore herrino-. The Lieu- 

The Third Winter. 

tenant had rigged up one of our sailcloth boats on 

a lake and was hunting ducks successfully. Manni also 

hunted on shore and brouo-ht home oreese, ducks, and 

grouse, so we had plenty of fresh food all the time. 

By September 15th our house was roofed in. The 

two rooms were of about equal size. Bunks for four 

men had been put up in the inner one. In front of each 

bunk there was a form, and a small table occupied the 

middle of the Hoor. Wiik had a folding table to himself, 

on which he could evolve magnetic curves. One of our 

petroleum tanks was used for an oven, prepared by 

Ristvedt for the purpose. A funnel was made of iron 

plate obtained from the " Bonanza." The outside room 

was dining room and kitchen combined. The kitchener 

was made out of a petroleum tank. Sten supplied us 

with a plate with six holes in it, as he had a double 

supply. Out of these articles our clever blacksmith 

made the most wonderful caboose " that ever was." If 

the Lieutenant wanted to get something extra special or 

wonderful made he would go up and see Sten in the 

kitchen. He had no baking- oven ; he continued to 

bake bread on the " Primus" as before, and, as it may 

interest housewives, I may mention that our brave 

Lindstrom made the finest and lightest wheaten loaves 

imaginable for three successive years in a little oven on 

the top of the " Primus." To bake eight large loaves 

required about half a pint of petroleum. At the side of 

the " caboose " there was a long table where all eight of 

us could sit down to our meals. A small dresser and a 


Chapter XI. 

box, to keep sundries in, completed the furniture of the 
dining saloon. Outside the dining room there was 
a small entrance hall where one could brush off the 
snow before walking- in. The house was built facinor 
north and south. The floor was made of a few boards 
we had brought along with us for this purpose. But 
althoug-h the grround was the most level one on the bank, 
the floor had a slight slant which Lindstrom especially 


complained of. It is true he had to be about there all 
day. We covered the house inside with sail cloth. The 
outside was covered with moss. When the snow fell 
and completely covered us in we should have a fine 
house. Light was obtained through skylights facing 
east. A shed made of sail-cloth alongf the eastern wall 
served for the storage of wood. 

When our house was roofed in, Wiik and Ristvedt 


The Third Winter 

started on the Variation House. The oTOund for this 
was selected about two hundred yards from the other 
house on a small open point terminating- abruptly towards 
the sea, to the north. A tent was at first erected here 
in which Wiik, through various observations, determined 
north and south, the direction of the magnetic meridian 


whereon the house was to be built. There was a long 
acclivity to the south, terminating in extensive plains. 
We marked the road so far, by means of poles, in case of 
possible snowstorms. 

During this time I had frequent visits, especially from 
Eskimo who, like ourselves, were shut in by the ice. 


Chapter XL 

The missionary also came now and again. When he 
decided to abandon his trip to Fort McPherson he came 
one day, accompanied by Roksi, to say good-bye. 
I invited them to dinner, and at table, Roksi, who spoke 
English pretty well, told us that the Eskimo in this 
neighbourhood had a word for " thanks," viz., 
" koyenna." The missionary would insist that this 
word was introduced by the Christian Mission, which 
Roksi, however, denied. The missionary became some- 
what engrossed in the argument, and mentioned that at 
any rate such words as "Amen" and "Hallelujah" 
were introduced by the Mission. " Not at all," said 
Roksi, " we said Amen and Hallelujah long before the 
Mission came here!" It was said with the greatest 
assurance, and we all roared with laughter. 

After finishing our building operations we covered the 
vessel with sails and made our final preparations for the 
winter. This time we made the entrance aft, on the 
starboard side. A small cabin door from the " Bonanza" 
was inserted in the sail-cloth, and a big, wide staircase 
was fitted up in front of it, from the ice, so that we were 
now fixed up in first-class style. 

One day the first large caravan of Eskimo passed us. 
They were part of those that had got stuck with their 
boats, and they were now proceeding towards Fort 
McPherson on sledges. They formed a modey, even 
festive-looking procession as they came driving along, 
between the " Gjoa " and the " Bonanza," in their dog- 
sledges with their merry harness-bells ; it reminded us 


The Third Winter. 

somewhcit of our Christmas sledge-parties in Norway. 
These Eskimo drove in a different manner to our friends 
the Nechilli. The dogs were generally harnessed in 
single file, but sometimes two abreast, and so that they 
could not get out of their allotted position. This, of 
course, had its advantages as well as disadvantages. 

Kunak's House. 

Slen's House. 


Sten had covered his house with turf, and Kunak the 
Eskimo had completed his house, alongside Sten's. 
When the winter started with snowstorms in earnest, it 
found the colony on King Point quite prepared. We 
were twenty souls, all told, encamped together here for 
ten months. Lieutenant Hansen, Manni and I stayed 
on board the " Gjoa." The other five " Gjoa" men lived 


Chapter XI. 

in our house. Sten's house was situate fifty yards further 
west. It was built of planks and boards from the 
" Bonanza " and looked for all the world like a villa 
residence. It consisted of two rooms. Sten lived in the 
inner one with his wife, Kataksina, and their little 
daughter Annie. It was both spacious and comfortable. 
The outer room was used as kitchen and living room by 
both families. The harpooner, Jimmy, and his wife, had 
a large comfortable bed close to the kitchener. It may 
have been a little warm at times ; I refer to the days when 
the bread was being baked, with a temperature of 1 1 2°. 
But the Eskimo Nein and his wife, who were berthed on 
a wooden trap door right above the kitchener, were worse 
off still ; it was a wonder to me that they could stand 
it. However, they were soon going out hunting and 
would be spending most of the winter in the fields. 
These two rooms were lighted by a huge skylight in the 
roof. Outside the kitchen there was a large hall, divided 
in two, one part serving as workshop and one for storage 
of provisions. The workshop led into a large, roomy 
shed built of planks and old sails. A door from this led 
out into the open. Everything was practically and 
conveniently arranged. 

Kunak had constructed his little cottage so that it 
joined Sten's. There was only one room, and the 
furniture consisted of two beds, a table, and an oven. 
This cannot be considered excessive accommodation, 
seeing that Kunak had to house his old mother, his 
wife, and two children. He frequently had visitors, 


The Third Winter. 

and dien there might be as many as ten persons in his 


There were about as many dogs as people in our 

We collected wood for the winter most assiduously. 
There was plenty about, and to prevent it being buried 


in snow we piled it up on end in big heaps, and had it 
carried home as required. An important discovery was 
made, which was especially welcome to our cook ; the 
sea-water was quite fresh, and it was excellent in every 
respect, both for drinking and cooking purposes. This 
seems strange, certainly, but it is owing to the great 
Mackenzie River, which is not far off. 


Chapter XL 

We were somewhat plagued by colds. Manni, espe- 
cially, suffered so much from them that we had to keep 
him in bed for several days at a time, notwithstanding 
his protests. He also suffered from haemorrhage from 
the nose, hardly a day passing without it. 

I had lone been watching- the ice, to see if its condition 
would soon permit of our reaching Herschel Island, and 


SO making inquiries about the post, which was to leave 

there in the near future. All of us were, of course, most 

anxious to get news from home. I had arranged with 

Sten to accompany me ; he wished to go to Herschel 

Island and have a talk with the whalers. The Eskimo 

west of us had promised to let us know when the ice 

would bear. The portion near Key Point did not acquire 

1 60 

The Third Winter. 

the necessary stability very easily, as a rather large river 
emptied itself into the sea there. 

On Sunday, September 24th, an Eskimo passed on 
his way to Herschel. If he could get along, we ought 
to manage it. On the following Tuesday, therefore, we 
made a start, the first thinsf in the mornino-, with a sleio-h 
and a good team of dogs. The road was not very good, 
as the new snow had not properly set. Every now and 
then we had to plod through loose drifts. Four miles to 
the west we came across the first camp of Eskimo, com- 
prising several tents. All their boats had been dragged 
ashore, and they were subsisting on fish caught under the 
ice. There was another camp a couple of miles further 
west. These Eskimo, by the bye, are more civilised 
than the Nechilli. Hospitality is a leading feature 
with them. When visiting them they always offered us 
tea and fresh wheaten bread. The Eskimo here on the 
Alaska coast certainly are bigger tea drinkers than any 
other people. We kept mostly on the ice, near land, 
where the route was smoothest and best. As we were 
not in training, we made a halt the first day at Key 
Point, fifteen miles from King Point and twenty miles 
from Herschel. We put up our tent at the Point, col- 
lected some wood, and made ourselves comfortable. I 
had brouo'ht Manni alono- with me, to show him the bio- 
vessels and the many Kablunas. The Eskimo, Neiu, 
also accompanied us. 

Next morning we continued our journey. The sledging 
on the ice here was abominable, there being half-a-foot 

VOL. II. 163 M 2 

Chapter XL 

of water under the snow. We were wading in slush, 
and our reindeer-skin boots were soaked through. But 
we managed to get along, and at half-past four in the 
afternoon we trooped into Herschel Harbour. It was 
quite an unusual sight that met my eyes here. Five 
large vessels were lying side by side, and there was a 
multitude of people on the ice between them. Our arrival 
attracted considerable attention. Sten and Neiu, of 
course, were already known to most of them, but Manni 
and I in Nechilli costume were something of a novelty. 
We were quickly surrounded by a motley crowd — 
mulattos, negroes, yellow, and white men ; their clothes 
were also of a very miscellaneous description. Most of 
the Eskimo were dressed as Kablunas, and most of the 
Kablunas as Eskimo. By the word " Kabluna," the 
Eskimo here mean all people of a strange race. When 
referring to negroes, however, they add " maktok," and 
describe them as " maktokkabluna," which means the 
" black white." 

I had made up my mind to put up with Captain Tilton, 
on board the "Alexander," and there I went. I was 
received with the greatest cordiality, and conducted into 
a snug, homely cabin. Captain Tilton was a tall, 
powerful man, who looked older than he actually was, 
with sparse hair and a white moustache. The other 
captains soon appeared on board. All of them bore the 
usual traces of the conditions of life obtaining in these 
regions. They were corpulent, and their hair thin. 
That things on board some of these American whalers 

The Third Winter. 

were not as they ought 
to be there can be but 
Httle doubt ; but, having 
no positive proofs, I 
prefer not to mention 
the many and queer 
tales I heard during my 
sojourn here. I was, 
however, from the first 
start treated with the 
greatest courtesy by 
Captain Tihon. He 
was ready to assist me 
in every way, although 
he was not too well pro- 
vided himself. My visit 
to the whalers was plea- 
sant throughout. The 
receipt of a letter from 
home was the greatest 
pleasure I had. It was 
an old one to be sure, 
written nearly a year 
and a half before, but 
none the less welcome 
on that account. I also 
had a letter from Consul 
Henry Lund, in San 
Francisco ; and the cap- 

Chapter XL 

tains told me how much this oentleman had done for 
me. They had, all of them, instructions from their owners 
to assist me in every possible way. 

Before leaving Herschel I paid a visit to the local 
missionary, Mr. Whittaker. He lived on shore, with his 
wife and two daughters, in a house which, besides pro- 
viding accommodation for himself, also had a schoolroom 
and a chapel for the Eskimo. I was present at one of 
the services, and it was a real pleasure to hear the 
Eskimo sing. As a practical man, which every mis- 
sionary should be, Mr. Whittaker had studied his people 
and found that they were fond of singing ; he therefore 
introduced as much singing as possible into his services 
and gave sermons that were short but to the point. The 
consequence was that the services were well attended. 
The missionary was a real English sportsman, tall, slim, 
and powerful, qualifications that might come in useful in 
these regions. It happened also that the minister had to 
act as policeman. The Eskimo have the nasty habit, as 
soon as they get hold of spirits, of immediately getting 
drunk, and then they are not easy to keep in order. 
However, Mr. Whittaker certainly held a most difficult 
post in a place composed of many doubtful elements 
which, in various ways, hamper the work of a minister 
and a missionary. I imagine that both he and his family 
were very glad when their time was up in the spring and 
they were able to go south. The two little girls were 
six years and nine years old respectively, and they were 
exceptionally pretty children. Both of them spoke 


The Third Winter. 

English and Eskimo Huently. Unfortunately, the 
younger one was taken ill and died in the spring. It 
was a touching sight to see the parents carrying the little 
one with them on a sledge as they left the island. 

Manni had amused himself royally. He had company 
all the time and had joined in the " hola-hola " or Eskimo 
dance. The Eskimo here, however, are so greatly 
influenced by the " Kablunas " that they lose much of 
their interest. Manni had been treated to the best of 
everything. He had had his fill of reindeer and seal, 
as well as of whale-blubber, and his fill was no trifle. 
The Eskimo lived in poor, low, little wooden huts on 
land. They did not look very healthy, and when the 
visit terminated, Manni was suffering from a bad cold. 

The post was to leave via Fort McPherson for Fort 

Yukon on October 20th. It was to wait there and bring 

back telegrams to the different captains. There was not 

much probability of our getting the return mail before 

the month of May, when it reaches Fort McPherson via 

Edmonton and is forwarded thence by Indians to 

Herschel Island. This seemed to me too lono- to wait, 

and I therefore asked the whalers if they had any 

objection to my accompanying the post on October 20th. 

If I got down there myself, I thought I could arrange 

matters. My wish was readily complied with, and 

everything I required was placed at my disposal. 

Captain William Mogg, the commander of the stranded 

vessel " Bonanza," was also going to accompany the post 

and try to reach San Francisco, intending to return next 


Chapter XI. 

year by another ship. It was really a venturesome plan 
for such an elderly man, who, moreover, was not 
accustomed to such trips. 

On September 29th, at 9 a.m., we started on our 
return journey to the " Gjoa." Mogg followed, to get 
some of his provisions from King Point. Without any 
great effort we kept going all day, and arrived there at 
II P.M. The northern lio'hts were mao-nificent during 
the night. We called upon our neighbours at the 
nearest Eskimo camp, and had tea and wheaten 
bread. We here encountered a sledge expedition, sent 
out by Captain McKenna to Herschel Island. We 
learned that the " Charles Hanson " had got stuck in 
the ice off Toker Point, on the far side of the entrance to 
the Mackenzie River. As to the other vessels, the sledge 
party knew that four of them had reached Bailey Island, 
but they knew nothing about the fifth one. The wildest 
rumours and stories were in circulation all the winter 
about the disappearance of this ship. It was a small 
schooner, no bigger than the " Gjoa," called the " Olga." 
The last time she was seen she was going northwards, 
and there was much anxiety lest she might have been 
crushed in the ice or have drifted towards the Pole. 

On reaching home we had covered thirty-six miles, 
which, unaccustomed as we were to walking, was a pretty 
stiff task. 

Good work had been done during my absence both on 
board and ashore. Lund had arranged a new meteoro- 
logical box, constructing it so that no fog could penetrate 


The Third Winter. 

it. Next day, with Ristvedt's assistance, I fixed up all 
the meteorological instruments, so that we could begin 
our observations on October ist. The building of 
our observatory for the magnetic variation instruments 
was making good progress, and was completed by 
October 2nd. They had been obliged to blast away 
four to five feet of the frozen soil, and the whole 
observatory was thus subterranean with the exception 
of the roof, which was visible. Boards from the 
" Bonanza's " cabin were used as materials for this 
house, the whole of it being covered with roofing felt 
and old sails. 

Eskimo were now hurrying past every day in both 
directions. It was not all pleasure to have these strangers 
constantly coming and going. One day, for instance, no 
less than four families arrived simultaneously and fixed 
up their tents close to the " Bonanza." They began by 
letting loose the dogs, and as these were by no means 
overfed, they at once started, as might be expected, in 
search of provender. Captain Mogg had packed his 
sledge in readiness to leave next morning. Among other 
provisions he had some frozen fish, with which he intended 
to treat his fellow-skippers, as they had not yet had any. 
The dog's, as a matter of course, broke throuo-h the 
packing of the sledge and gobbled up the fish. Sten's 
larder was also broken into during the night by the 
thieves, and, according to his statement, they had stolen 
250 frozen fish. In our wood shed they found a pair of 
brand new sealskin trousers, belonging to Lund, and 


Chapter XL 

these they had devoured. There was a great commotion 
next morning on the discovery of the loss. I was hiding 
behind a pile of drift wood watching the fat little Captain 
Mooror when he came down to have a look at his sledo^e. 
He dived his head into the empty fish-box, swearing 
like an American trooper. Sten, with his carbine 


shouldered, was parading up and down in front of his 
house like a sentinel, but the Eskimo in their tents were 
laughing and singing, and preparing to depart, ignorant 
to all appearance of the occurrence. Sten was clearly 
waiting for them. I walked slowly up to him, assuming 
the most jovial expression I could command. " Well, 

Sten, good morning. How goes it ?" Sten turned 


The Third Winter. 

round angrily : " The d d swine have stolen 

250. . . , But not a single Eskimo shall get away 
from here before makingr restitution." Sten hailed from 
the neighbourhood of Sandefjord. However, the Eskimo 
continued their preparations quietly and at their ease. 
When I came out again after breakfast, they were 
already a long way off, on the ice. I then asked Sten 
if he had received payment or restitution for his fish. 
No, not exactly, but every one of the Eskimo had 
guaranteed to bring fish back in the spring. He did 
not oro further into details as regrards the nature of their 

o o 

guarantee, but I suspect it was not worth very much. 
The incident was regrettable because Sten was always 
ready to be of assistance to anyone. When he heard of 
my decision to accompany the post, he at once started to 
make me a new sledge. I had already plenty of sledges, 
and orood ones too, but I did not like to refuse his kind 
offer. As a sledge would hardly be much used on my 
post journey, it did not matter very much how it was 
built. His wife, Kataksina, sewed new boots and clothes 
for my journey, and I think he employed other Eskimo 
also for the occasion. 

As it was a matter of importance to secure sufficient 
supplies of fresh food for the winter, I decided to send 
out our Nimrods, Hansen and Ristvedt, on a huntinof 
expedition. The Eskimo, Neiu, had, presumably, had 
enough of the heat from Sten's kitchener, and accepted 
with pleasure an appointment as guide to the expedition. 
They were fitted out for two months, taking with them 


Chapter XL 

two of ours and four of Stents dogs. I myself kept four 
for my journey. Our three lady dogs had, unfortunately, 
been heedless of time, and were daily expecting some 
interesting events, so we could not make use of them on 
this occasion. 

During the first half of October we did unusually well 
at fishing. Our regular catch was thirty to forty a-day. 
We cleaned the fish as soon as we lifted it out of the 
net and hung it on the rigging, where it froze immediately. 
Everything considered, the " Gjoa's " rigging was a 
pleasing sight at this moment. It would have gladdened 
the heart of many a fishmonger and poulterer to have 
seen the splendid assortment of grouse, clucks, geese, and 
fish dangling there. We styled it : " Jensen's in the 

Manni had now become a pupil of Lieutenant Hansen. 
He was learning to write and to tell the time. He did 
not show any special talent, but he learned to write his 
name pretty quickly, and to tell the time to within five 
minutes, anyway. He made quicker progress at draughts. 
He acquired its secrets so well that his master and 
teacher had to submit to be beaten at times. While 
these games were in progress I was, as a rule, sitting in 
the cabin, reading, to the pleasing accompaniment of the 
subdued and well-considered observations to which the 
play gave rise. But when by some chance Manni won 
then there was a roar which for a while rendered impos- 
sible any attempt at literary enjoyment in his immediate 



The Third Winter. 

However, previous to my departure, everyone was busy 
letter-writing. Each, of course, had one to write to his 
people at home. All the letters were finally put into a 
brass case and soldered up. You want a very substantial 
envelope up here. On the evening of October 20th my 
whole outfit was ready. The sledge, constructed by Sten, 
was shining with varnish and metal mountings. The 
perfectly new-sewn tarpaulin, made by his wife, added 
to the appearance of luxury. The weight on the sleigh 
was only 2 cwt. now. It would, undoubtedly, be 
heavier when leavino- Herschel. I took Manni with me 
to let him have his first glimpse of civilisation. Besides, 
he was a good helpmate to take when travelling in these 

On October 21st, at 6 a.m., we said good-bye to our 
comrades, and departed. It was a lovely day. The 
road was excellent, as the cold weather had not 
thoroughly set in as yet. We kept along the shore, which 
was nearly bared by the wind, and proceeded at a great 
pace. Both of us were attired in Nechilli costumes, 
but it was not long ere we had to divest ourselves of our 
outer clothing. When we had trotted nearly as far as' 
Key Point, we noticed something strange, shooting up 
from the inner side of the bay, right across our course. 
It looked very much like a balloon being dragged along 
on the ice. As it approached we saw it was a sledge, 
carrying sail. The sail fetched the sledge along in the 
fresh breeze at such a speed that our dogs had to be 
careful to avoid being run over. The sledge caught us 

VOL. II. 177 N 

Chapter XL 

up and followed our course. We tried to keep up with 
them, but dropped farther and farther behind. There 
were four Eskimo on the sledge. Suddenly they stopped, 
and the driver turned to me and proposed that we should 
tie our sledges together and harness all the doo-s to them. 
I willingly accepted his offer, and the coupling"-up was 
arranged in a few minutes. The two sledges, when 
combined, sailed away before a strong fair wind, towards 
Herschel Island. The amiable Eskimo driver ran 
alongside our sledge, and we conversed together. He 
was an exceedingly agreeable fellow. He spoke English 
quite well. He was of the type that inspire confidence, 
and reminded me of my excellent friend, the " Owl," at 
Ogchoktu. My pleasure was therefore equal to my 
surprise when Jimmy, that was his name, informed me 
that he was going to take the post from Herschel Island 
to Fort Yukon. In answer to my questions as to how 
long a time the journey would take, and what the road 
was like, he frankly told me he did not know, as he had 
never done the trip before. He had received instructions 
from the white men to take the post and was going 
to do so. I was informed afterwards that none of the 
other Eskimo had ventured to undertake this journey. 
As a reward for his services, Jimmy had been promised a 
whaling-boat, which, to an Eskimo, represents the summit 
of his ambition. With the acquisition of a whaling-boat 
they consider themselves fully set up for the remainder 
of their lives. 

At 3 P.M. we reached Herschel Island. 


The Third Winter. 

Things went on quietly and regularly after my 
departure. Lieutenant Hanson took over the command 
during my absence. A number of hunting expeditions 
were sent out, and they never returned empty-handed. 
Kunak, who lived next door to Sten, was sent off to the 
mouth of Mackenzie River to hunt for elk, which are 
very abundant there. He continually sent elk-meat 
home, and Sten shared it with us. Other Eskimo also 
called and sold us elk-meat and a large quantity of 

The weather was unusually severe this winter. 
Christmas came, and by the united efforts of the 
colony it was celebrated with mirth and festivity. 
Snow and storm, however, continued their o-ame 
without cessation in the new year and rendered our 
existence as unpleasant as only such visitations could. 
Everything is enveloped in an impenetrable haze ; the 
snow is blinding and it penetrates into every chink 
and crevice. One nioht MannI had to q-q from our 
house to the ship. It was a rough night, one of the 
worst, and as Manni did not return when expected the 
Lieutenant became anxious about him. He went ashore 
to look for him and found him in Sten's house. He had 
lost his way, even at this short distance. 

The mail arrived at the beginning of March. There 
were some newspapers and also a despatch from me sent 
through the Royal North West Mounted Police, who 
left Dawson City on December 25th. From these papers 
and from my communication they received full particulars 

179 N 2 

Chapter XL 

of events at home, and moreover all had news from 
their friends. 

On March 12th at 6 p.m. I was back on board and 
brought newspapers and letters for all. I found every- 
thing in perfect order. Lieutenant Hansen had during 
my absence taken the meteorological observations and 
Wiik had kept up the magnetic work without interrup- 
tion. Before leaving^ I had o-iven instructions to deliver 
ten cases, or 24 cwt. of flour to the whalers, as they 
were badly provided with this commodity. It was a 
matter of congratulation to us that the " Gjoa " could 
offer the Americans this assistance after two and-a-half 
years' sojourn in the ice. 

The day following my return was observed as a 
holiday. There was much to be thankful for. Shortly 
after this Ristvedt went, with Jimmy, to Herschel Island 
to consult a doctor. He had got a grain of sand in 
one of his eyes and was unable to get it out again. 
On March i6th we took stock of our provisions and 
ascertained that we had plenty, Ristvedt returned a 
couple of days afterwards, relieved of his complaint and 
much impressed by the hospitality shown him by Captain 
McGregor of the " Karluk," and his wife. 

We availed ourselves of the first fine weather to build 
ourselves a large airy house on the top of the hill, as a 
depot for our collections. When the sun commenced to 
shine in real earnest, we were going to put out our skins 
and plants and give them an airing. We were quite as 
anxious about these collections as we were about our 

The Third Winter. 

own lives. On March 22nd we had a maximum tem- 
perature of 32*36° Fahr. — ^just above freezing- point — for 
the first time this winter. Spring began to make itself felt. 

Neiu had just come home with ninety hares. I decided 
to let a couple of our huntsmen accompany him and his 
wife on their next hare-hunting expedition. We were 
not short of shot guns, the whalers having provided us 
with a supply. The day after their departure some 
Eskimo arrived, and sold us 1 50 lbs. of elk's meat and 
forty hares. In other words, we had abundance of fresh 

Wiik had not been very well the last few days, though 
it did not appear to be anything at all serious. He com- 
plained of a poor appetite. On the 26th he had acute 
pains in his right side. I gave him some medicine, which 
relieved him. The next day he had to stay in bed, the 
pains having returned. I presumed it was a touch of 
pleurisy, as, from what he told me, he had suffered 
from that before. I started treating him with cooling 
bandaoes, accordinor to " Uckermann's Medical Guide." 
During the night of the 28th he had a good sleep, 
and by the morning was in the best of spirits : 
laughing and joking constantly. However, the pains 
recurred in the afternoon. I then took off his cooling 
bandages and put on a mustard plaster. His pulse at 
night was steady at 104° and his temperature registered 
103°. I was called next morning at 4 o'clock. We had 
an electric bell between the house and the ship, and I had 
given instructions to be called should any change occur, 

Chapter XL 

Wiik now complained of more intense pains. His right 
side was slightly swollen. The mustard plaster had pro- 
duced no effect, probably it was too old. I then applied 
a mustard bag, and this at once commenced to act. His 
temperature remained at 103°. Later in the day I thought 
I saw a considerable improvement in our patient. He 
slept for some time, now and again, and was not in pain. 
I gave him some fever medicine w^hich did him good. By 
noon the temperature was 102*5°. He asked for some 
food and ate well, under the circumstances. At 9 p.m. 
his temperature was 101°, pulse 116, but steady. I took 
off the mustard bag ; it had acted very well, and I 
opened the blisters, dressing them with lint and boracic 

On March 30th I made the following entry in my log- 
book : " Wiik is making good progress towards recovery. 
Temperature this morning 102° with regular pulse of 116. 
Temperature this evening just below 100°, pulse 114, 
regular. Appetite improving. Evacuation all right." I 
was in really good spirits that night at the prospect of a 
speedy recovery. I was not called up in the night and 
was, therefore, certain of finding our patient practically 
well again ; when I went ashore for breakfast next 
morning, I was greviously disappointed. He had an 
acute attack of shivering in the night. Lindstrom, who 
was lying next to him, at once covered him over with 
a lot of clothes. As this had no effect, Wiik asked 
Lindstrom to lie on him. Lindstrom did so, and the 

attack began to subside. Lindstrom then got the fire lit 


The Third Winter. 

in the kitchener and thus raised the temperature in the 
room. He did not ring for me, as a tremendous snow- 
storm was raging at the time. Lindstrom, of course, did 


wroncr, but he acted with the best intentions. Probably 
I should have been unable to do anything. When I 
arrived on the scene in the morning his temperature was 
102°, pulse 116. When I took the temperature again at 


Chapter XL 

II A.M. it was down to ioi'5°, but the pulse alarmed me ; 
instead of being steady as before it had now become very- 
irregular. I then got Jimmy, who had accompanied me 
to Alaska, to prepare himself for a journey to Herschel 
Island to fetch a doctor. A heavy snowstorm was 
blowing from the north-west, and Jimmy insisted on 
waiting till 2 a.m., as it was too late in the day to get 
there before dark. I wrote a letter to Captain Tilton, on 
whose vessel the doctor resided, and also one to the 
doctor himself, explaining how matters stood. Wiik's 
condition meanwhile became more critical ; I used all my 
power of persuasion to get Jimmy to start at once, but 
the weather was so bad that not even an Eskimo would 
venture outdoors. 

At about 5 P.M. when making the final preparations 
for Jimmy's journey next morning, the bell rang very 
loudly, all of a sudden. There was something in the 
ring that spelt disaster, and I ran off at full speed. But 
I was only just in time to see our dear friend breathe his 
last. It was an inexpressibly sad moment. I closed the 
eyes of our late comrade, and we remained sitting there 
for a while in silence and sorrow. 

Wiik was everybody's friend. His humour and 

jocularity had afforded us many happy hours. Death 

must always be a gruesome guest, but to us, in our 

position, far away from friends and relations, it was, if 

possible, more depressing than it would otherwise have 

been. As soon as possible we resumed work, the great 

consoler and helper. 


The Third Winter. 

As I was not quite sure of the nature of the malady 
I thought it wise to remove everything from the house. 
Sten offered us accommodation in his house, and I grate- 
fully accepted the kind offer. We made our kitchen 
arrangements in his house and had all our meals there. 
Lindstrom and Lund moved into our cabin, aft, until 
they could get things arranged in the deck-house, 
forward. Our house was thus entirely deserted, and we 
nailed it up. 

Sten went to Herschel Island a couple of clays after- 
wards. When he came back he reported that it would 
have been useless to send there for the doctor, as at the 
time he was overwhelmed with work. A couple of 
poisoning cases in particular had claimed his personal 
attention night and day. 

Lund had the black-painted coffin ready on April 3rd, 
and Wiik's body was placed in it. We deposited it on 
two stools in the outer room, screwed on the lid, and 
covered it with a flag. We had to keep the coffin until 
the sun had softened the frozen ground sufficiently to 
enable us to bury him. All chimney-pipes and other 
small openings were left uncovered, for the sake of 
ventilation, and the house nailed up again. 

Our two sportsmen returned on April 5th. They had 
heard of the death of our comrade from some Eskimo. 
They brought with them 237 hares on their sleighs. 
They reported that there was an enormous quantity of 
them. The huntsmen caught them by forming them- 
selves into a chain right across a long strip of under- 


Chapter XL 

wood and drove the hares before them with shouts and 
yells. The stupid animals would not break cover and 
finally got all huddled up together and fell an easy prey. 
These hares are not much smaller than ours. We 
reckoned one hare for every two men. 

The first thing the whalers do when preparing to 
winter up here is to build a cold store. It may sound 
somewhat superfluous to have a refrigerator in the Arctic 
Sea, but it comes in very useful in the summer. We had, 
however, omitted to build one in time, so we had to look 
about for a storeroom for all the fresh meat we had on 
hand. We seized on the plan which we had found to 
answer before, we went on board the " Bonanza " to see 
if there was anything suitable. We were not disappointed 
this time either. There was a capital, spacious cellar 
below the cabin floor. During the autumn it had filled 
with water and was now frozen. In other words, we had 
the most magnificent cold-storage cellar, all complete and 
ready for use. We bundled up the hares and hung them 
there ; so we had fresh meat whenever we wanted it. 

The first messenger of spring was a raven, which 
arrived on the scene on April 4th. 

Lindstrom very soon moved up to his friend Sten. 

This was a practical step, inasmuch as most of his work 

had to be done there. A firm friendship had sprung up 

between the two stoutest fellows in the colony. When 

we went aboard after supper it rarely happened that any 

of us returned ashore until the next morning. Lindstrom 

and Sten were then in undisputed possession of the house. 


The Third Winter. 

One night I had forgotten my pipe and I went back to 
fetch it. As I entered the wood-shed I heard roars 
of laughter inside. Ahem, I thought, perhaps I ought 
to have looked into this before ; what is it that makes 
these two so inseparable up here ? Regular orgies, 
evidendy. " Can-can " with the girls .... I suddenly 
appeared before them like a God of Thunder, ready 
to punish the guilty, and there they were, playing a 
game of cards, as happy as a couple of schoolboys. I 
enjoyed the spectacle for a time, and then left with my 
pipe and my own reflections. 

The hunters returned on April 12th, this time with 
seventy-one hares and five ptarmigan, Manni was an 
excellent fellow. He was always happy, careful, and 
kind. What he loved was hunting, and he was nearly 
always in the field. As he was going with Ristvedt and 
Hansen this time, I gave him strict instructions to give 
up chewing tobacco. I never liked this nasty habit, and 
it seemed very undesirable that the boy should acquire it. 
Ristvedt and Hansen both chewed tobacco just as others 
would eat bread and butter, especially when out hunting. 
They tried to tempt Manni, but he would not touch their 
tobacco. I had given him permission to smoke, but 
I told him also that too much of it might be dangerous. 
And he was very moderate. As I was always afraid of 
his catching cold, I told him to change his clothes when 
he came home. Ristvedt reported that Manni always 
changed everything on his return home. Notwithstand- 
ing this, he had got a thorough cold now ; he had 


Chapter XL 

probably caught it from the Eskimo, who don't take the 
slightest care of themselves. 

Easter came and went without any special celebrations 
on our part. A cigar each on Easter Day was the 
principal luxury indulged in. Mr. Howard, Inspector 
of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, passed us on 


April 14th. He was accompanied by a sergeant, an 
Indian, and an Eskimo, and he was in uniform ; it 
looked very peculiar up here. He came from Fort 
McPherson and was on his way to Herschel Island 
as a representative of the Canadian authorities. A 
sleieh also arrived from Herschel Island with some 
things belonging to Mr. Whittaker, the missionary. 


The Third Winter. 

It was going- fifteen miles further east, to Shingle 

Spring had commenced, and with that the traffic. On 
the following day a sleigh arrived from the east. The 
party consisted of some Eskimo and a white man sent 
by McKenna ; they were going to procure some sugar 
for him. The white man had rather a crazy look about 
him. He had had one of his big toes rather badly 
frostbitten, and was treated by Lieutenant Hansen, 
He told Sten subsequently that he had been in the 
company of the second engineer of the " Charles 
Hansen," but that the latter was taken ill on the road, 
so he had been obliged to leave him behind after 
coverino- him over with a blanket. This information 
seemed rather scant, Charley, as the fellow called 
himself, had nothing on his feet excepting a pair of 
ordinary stockings and sealskin kamiks. This was very 
little in these regions. When he reached Herschel 
Island it turned out that he had deserted from McKenna 
together with the second engineer, who apparently had 
died somewhere on the shore. His meetino- with the 
Eskimo, who were going to fetch the sugar, was purely 

Lieutenant Hansen and Ristvedt went off to Herschel 
about the middle of the month to see if we could secure 
two more men. I wanted to have another man in the 
caboose, as Lindstrom prefers to look after the engine, 
and also another man on deck. 

Meanwhile, rumours had reached us that reindeer had 

Chapter XI. 

been seen in the neighbourhood. I, therefore, told off 
Hansen, with a family of Eskimo, to go hunting. All 
our dogs, with the exception of Nicodemus, which I had 
from Eagle City, were in a miserable condition, partly 
owing to fighting and partly to other misfortunes. 
Hansen's expedition was, therefore, dubbed the 
" Invalid Corps." As a matter of fact, he returned the 
very first night, and reported that the petroleum had 
leaked out and spoilt all his bread. The only thing we 
could do was to give the " Invalids" a fresh supply of 
bread and let them make another start next day. 

Mr. Whittaker arrived on April 22nd with his wife 
and daughter. They remained with us the night and 
proceeded next morning. Ptarmigan now made their 
appearance in big crowds ; the hills seemed alive with 
them, they were so plentiful, but they were so shy 
that it was almost impossible to get within shooting 
range. Manni somehow managed to bring home as 
many as four brace in a day. This lad made progress 
in his studies every day, but never acquired much of 
the white men's language. His greatest advancement 
was in the games of draughts and patience. It was 
often difficult to find anything to keep him occupied, 
when he had finished his regular day's work of cleaning, 
wood chopping, water carrying, and hunting. It 
generally ended in a game of draughts with the Lieu- 
tenant or a single-handed patience. 

Lieutenant Hansen and Ristvedt soon returned from 

Herschel Island, where they had been handsomely treated 


The Third Winter. 

as the guests of Captain McGregor of the " Karluk." 
The American whalers with their customary kindness 
consented to let me have two men, whom I might fetch 
on June ist. With these two new arrivals our accom- 
modation on board would be inadequate ; we should 
have to increase it. A word about this to Lund was 
enough ; he had his plan ready at once. We agreed 


upon building a small room on either side of the cabin 
stairs, one for Hansen and one for Lund. The few 
boards we had brought with us from Christiania, already 
used for the observatory on King William Land and 
in our residence here at King Point, were again to be 
pressed into the service. There was just sufficient for 
these two small berths. The rooms were not large, nor 


Chapter XL 

were the fittings luxurious, but when ready, decorated 
and painted, they lool-ied really nice and cosy. 

The snow decreased noticeably every day as we 
neared the end of April. There were large numbers of 
"hicksies," a kind of earth rat, on all the bare spots. 
They were very fat, and looked as if they had done 
nothing but feed all the winter. Their skin is used 
a good deal for coat linings, and the animal is therefore 
much sought after. It takes at least sixty skins to line 
a coat. 

Manni's hunting during the spring consisted chiefly in 
catching " hicksies." Some he shot and some he caught 
in snares. He placed snares outside their holes and lay 
down at a distance, holding a string. When the rat 
looked out to see what was the matter Manni pulled the 
string and the little creature had the noose round its 
neck. The weather kept warm. The temperature 
remained above freezing point. Pools of water com- 
menced to form on the ice. 

After about eight days' hunting Hansen returned 

with fourteen reindeer. The Eskimo, Anakto, had 

brought most of these down with one of our Krag- 

Jorgensen carbines. The Krag-Jorgensen guns have 

made a good all-round reputation for themselves this 

winter, far better than the Winchesters. Hansen had 

enough to do to o-et on board all the meat the Eskimo 

procured for us, so he could not take part in the chase. 

A large number of Eskimo were now hunting on behalf 

of the whalers, and to compete successfully on this 



The Third Winter. 

difficult ground we needed to be Eskimo ourselves. 
The reindeer were very shy and timid beyond measure. 

I was very much surprised one day at the end of 
April to receive a visit from a man I had met and 
shaken hands with near Rampart House, on the Porcu- 
pine River, away in Alaska, when I was on what 
I called my post-journey. His name was Mr. Darrell. 
He was a most remarkable man, possessed of rare vigour, 
courage, and perseverance. He may have been about 
forty, short but powerfully built, and very fair. When 
any of the American whalers, who wintered off Bailey 
Island, wanted to send their post southwards, they had 
it sent along to Fort McPherson by Eskimo, with a 
request to the commander there to be good enough to 
forward it on to Fort Yukon by Indians. Owing, how- 
ever, to the heavy fall of snow in the course of the 
winter none of the Indians dared to undertake the 
journey across the mountains between Peel River, a 
tributary of the Mackenzie River, and Porcupine River. 
Mr. Darrell was at that time employed by the Hudson 
Bay Company. Hearing of the Indians' refusal and 
being fully aware of the importance to the whalers of the 
interests involved, he decided to take the post himself. 
He fitted himself out with a toboggan and dogs, and 
started off without a single companion. It may seem 
a foolhardy undertaking, but Darrell had journeyed 
by sledge before, and probably had his own reasons 
for preferring to travel by himself rather than in company, 
which at times might be somewhat doubtful. The moun- 

VOL. 11. 195 O 2 

Chapter XL 

tain ranges between Peel River and Porcupine River 
are, as a rule, no worse to cross than most others. 
But the Indians were right, the enormous snowfall had 
created serious difficulties, Mr. Darrell soon came to 
the conclusion that his dogs were useless. They simply 
scraped and rolled about in the snow. He promptly 
decided to leave them, and went on alone, dragging the 
toboggan behind him. The toboggan, of course, was 
small, and the outfit as light as possible, yet it must have 
been hard work, but he got through. He rested a 
couple of days at Rampart House, a small trading 
station on the Porcupine River, and laid in fresh 
supplies. It was a couple of days' journey from there 
that I met him with the post on my way to Eagle City. 
He came jogging along alone with his toboggan, and 
was due to reach Fort Yukon in a week's time. We did 
not have a long conversation that time, but he told me 
he would return via Herschel Island, and I invited him 
to stay with us as long as he remained. He thanked 
me, and I never thought I should see him again, yet, on 
April 29th, he came quietly marching up with his 
toboggan exactly as I had left him on Porcupine River. 
He made us happy by remaining with us for a couple of 
days, and then left quietly and unassumingly to continue 
his journey as before. I stood looking after him as he 
disappeared from view, and I thought, if you got together 
a few more men of his stamp, you could get to the moon. 
Shortly afterwards I received a letter from him, on a 

small slip of paper, brought me by an Eskimo from the 


The Third Winter. 

fort. It did not say much. He thanked me, and men- 
tioned but briefly that lie was near losing his life on the 
latter part of his journey. The Eskimo who brought me 
the letter told me a few circumstances which the un- 
assuming man had not mentioned. He had lost his 
way at the entrance to Mackenzie River — anyone not 
thoroughly acquainted with the locality would easily 
mistake the route— and he was saved at the last moment 
by some Eskimo. 

On the morning of May 2nd I was awakened by 
somebody falling down the cabin stairs. This had often 
happened, as the staircase was steep, and I merely 
opened my eyes to see which of us it was this time. 
There on the floor was an Indian giving vent to a flow 
of language I quite failed to appreciate. When he had 
finished I quietly asked him in English what brought 
him there. He answered in very good English that 
he had brouorht the mail for me. I was soon wide-awake 
and got hold of the two letters he had brought. This 
was the first regular mail that year for Herschel Island 
via Edmonton and Fort McPherson. Lieutenant 
Hansen and I were the fortunate ones ; we had a letter 
each. Mine was from my brother. It was a bit old, but 
not less acceptable on that account. If people could only 
picture to themselves how much letters are prized in such 
circumstances, I fancy the number of letters written 
would be much greater. 

Hansen laid in his load of meat regularly once a week. 
Eventually we had accumulated between 1,500 and 


Chapter XI. 

1, 600 lbs. of reindeer-meat, so we were well supplied. 
The Eskimo sold us the meat at 5 cents a pound, which 
was the current price locally, and they also had their own 

The mail-carriers returned from Herschel Island on 
May 6th and were to proceed direct to the F'ort. We 
gave them food and plenty of provisions for their journey. 
They took away with them a couple of letters and a 
despatch I wanted sent off as quickly as possible. It 
was my notification of poor Wiik's death. I was very 
anxious lest his mother mitrht hear news throuo-h some 
other source that everything was going well with the 
Expedition, before she received the sad news from me, as 
that would make the blow all the harder and the dis- 
appointment all the bitterer, when she learned the truth. 
I left the telegram open and sent it to Mr. Firth, the 
manager of Fort McPherson, accompanied by a letter in 
which I explained the circumstances and my reasons for 
wishing to have the telegram dispatched at the very 
earliest opportunity. I asked him to advance the 
necessary outlay for the same. The telegram never 
reached its destination. The mail from the Fort arrived 
at Herschel, in August, but there was not a word for me 
from Mr. Firth. 

The month of May was lovely. As soon as spring- 
weather set in in earnest we o-ot all our thino-s out to air 
and dry. This was very necessary, as a dirty snowy 
winter like the one just ended makes everything damp. 

Lindstrom stretched some fishinp- nets over stools and 


The Third Winter. 

spread our collections out to dry. Even the empty egg- 
shells had a thorough airino-. 


The two new men engaged from the whalers arrived 
on May 8th. I was certainly somewhat astonished as I 
did not expect them before June ist. They had their 
discharges in proper order. One of them was a 
Norweq-ian, Ole Foss, hailino- from Fredriksstad. He 


Chapter XI. 

made a very favourable impression and showed himself, 
during the whole of his service on board the " Gjoa," 
to be a capable, reliable and decent fellow. The other 
one was a young American, named Beauvais. He was 
to relieve Lindstrom in the galley. 

Dr. Wioht had written to ask me if he mioht come 
south with the " Gjoa." He had received news of illness 
in his family, and wanted to get home as soon as possible. 
As it was most likely that the " Gjoa " would get back 
to civilisation before any of the whalers, I wrote to the 
doctor and told him he was welcome. Now, however, 
we should be quite full up. 

I had decided to convert the magnetic observatory 
into a mausoleum for Wiik. It was suitable for the 
purpose in every respect. Wiik had built it and used 
it himself, and was very fond of it. It was situate on 
the best and most open position facing the Arctic Sea. 
By May 8th we had completed our work in the frozen 

Next day, May 9th, at half-past ten in the morning, 
we assembled for the funeral. Every flag was flying at 
half-mast. We carried the coffin out of the house, and 
secured it with ropes on one of our sleighs. We then 
drew it as far as the mausoleum. Once aoain our 
comrade was on his way from the house to the observa- 
tory, but this time he would never return. We halted 
outside the entrance, while I said my farewell to Wiik 
and read the Lord's Prayer. The ceremony was brief, 
but I think it will long be remembered by us all. The 

The Third Winter. 

coffin was brought in, placed on two small wooden stools, 
and covered with a Norweofian fiao-. The room was 
then filled with drift-wood, and walled up. Later in 
the summer we erected a hioh cross on the northern side 
of the grave, put turf on it, and covered it with flowers. 
The American whalers promised me to tend it every 
year and keep it in order. 


The hills were now oettino- o-reen, and the brooks 
began to trickle and murmur. The water from the 
brooks tastes appreciably better than the ice-water, and 
the water we took from the sea was sometimes so brackish 
that we had to give up using it. No drinking water is 
equal to that which trickles fresh and clear through 
the soil. 

Chapter XL 

It sometimes happens that seemingly trivial yet very 
interesting" observations are made quite unconsciously. 
One day, when the thermometer stood at 21*2° below 
freezing-point, I put a liqueur-glass filled with water on 
the ship's rail, I was in the habit of taking a glass with 
me to the observation-box to moisten one of my 
thermometers. The rail was painted green, and I was 
surprised to notice that the water in the glass did not 
freeze, notwithstanding the sharp frost we then had. 
When I removed the glass, and placed it on a white 
surface, the water at once commenced to freeze. The 
sky was cloudy all the time. 

On getting our residence vacant again we fitted up our 
bath there and used it regularly. I had the first bath ; 
then it was Manni's turn. The others had made him 
believe he was to be boiled. He therefore went to the 
bath with considerable misoivines. When he found that 
he had been made a fool of, he laughed heartily. 

Neiu, the Eskimo, had come to loo-orerheads with Sten 
over a bag of flour. Being offended, he cleared out of 
the house and set up his tent on the shore among the 
driftwood. He hunted from there, and one day he 
brought home a lynx he had shot some way out on the 
ice. We concluded that the lynx must have had a fit of 

May 17 th was celebrated as usual as a gala day, with 
flags and a banquet. 

There was a good deal to do, however, this spring. 
The change from petroleum to wood necessitated several 

The Third Winter. 

alterations : we had to alter the galley. A petroleum 
tank was fixed up as a kitchener and provided with 
a chimney pipe which bent and twisted out into the air 
with the most fantastic contortions. This work of art 
was conceived in a most ingenious spirit, the intention 
being to secure a good draught in whatever quarter the 
wind came from. It was excellent in theory, certainly, 
but in practice, this chimney with its cowl, had an 
annoying yet unfailing tendency to collide with the main- 
sail. Any yachtsman will appreciate this. 

The hold had to be completely re-stowed, and all our 
collections, etc., had to be brought on board. The 
Lieutenant continued reading most diligently with 
Manni, and I could not help admiring his patience. 
I can still hear them : a, b, = ab ; b, a, = ba, abbaba. 
After half a-year's assiduous work they were still at 
"abbaba," and Manni would even now make mistakes in 
this difficult word. I had lately fancied that Manni 
feels inclined to remain here with the Eskimo. I did 
not like to lose him, but on the other hand I was averse 
to keep him against his will. So I asked him one day if 
he would rather join the Eskimo again, and Manni said 
" Yes." The following day I went to see an Eskimo 
named " Manichya," a very capable man, and asked him 
if he was prepared to take Manni. Manichya was 
delighted. He had only one child, a daughter, and an 
addition to the family like Manni was not to be despised. 
Manni left the " Gjoa " the same day, equipped with 

clothes, tobacco, matches, soap, two guns and ammuni- 


Chapter XI. 

tion. He jumped and danced with joy. But I could 

not help thinking that the good fellow's life in future 

would be different to what it had been with us. Work 

from morning till night and perhaps little to eat when he 

came home hungry. The first thing his new parents did 

was to cut his heavy, magnificent hair. He looked 

pitiful after this ordeal. Next day he went away with 

them westwards to hunt seals. About three weeks 

afterwards he came and visited us. He brought me 

a few birds. He had "gone off" considerably already, 

and his bright eyes had a sad expression in them. His 

appetite was simply terrifying ; he swallowed everything 

we put before him. When ready to leave he came 

round to bid each one of us good-bye. I could guess by 

his looks what he wanted, but I preferred that he should 

himself ask to be taken back. A fortnight later he 

returned. Again he brought a large bundle of birds 

for me. But his appearance was now deplorable. 

His cheeks were hollow, pale, and thin, and I there and 

then said " Would you like to come back to us again ? " 

I shall never forget the glad and thankful smile he gave 

me as an answer, and thereupon the lost sheep returned 

to us. We had all of us become so fond of Manni that 

it was a matter of satisfaction all round to have him on 

board again. Even the Eskimo-hater, Lindstrom, smiled 

that day. Manichya was certainly a bit surprised to 

learn that Manni had again become a Kabluna, but he 

made no difficulties. 

The only way now to keep our reindeer-meat was to 


The Third Winter. 

dry it. I got the Eskimo women to bone a large portion 
of our joints and hang- them up, This dried meat was 
very useful. 

Spring came much earlier here than at King William 
Land. All the birds of passage had arrived by May 20th. 
There was a peculiarity about the seals here. The males 



^^ ^ ■" 

"Gjoa." '"Bonanza." 

smelt so unpleasantly that even the dogs would not touch 

their flesh. This was probably due to the pairing season ; 

but, although these seals were of the same species as 

those at King William Land ("snadd"), we did not 

notice this smell In them there. 

At the end of May the Lieutenant and I moved ashore, 

as the cabin was going to be painted. This painting 


Chapter XL 

was Lindstrom's first job as " handy man," and he did it 
very well. Beauvais took over the kitchen, It was 
very agreeable to be ashore and wake up in the glorious 
air, while the birds were singing beautifully. June was 
cool at first. The maximum temperature on the first of 
the month was 297°. The dogs had now finished their 
term of service, and I made Sten a present of them. 
The only one I kept was Silla, and her little son Ole. 
I had promised to take Nicodemus with me to San 
Francisco, so he, too, came with us. 

On June 6th we moved back on board again into our 
snug cabin. Our Royal Family was in the best frame 
that King Point could produce, and the picture was hung 
on the middle of the wall, surrounded by a decoration of 
flags, with " Alt for Norge " (All for Norway) under- 
neath it. It all looked exceedingly pretty. On one side 
of this picture there was a chart on which was marked 
the " Gjoa's " course through the North West Passage. 
On the other side was Nansen's likeness. 

When the snow had melted ofT the ice along the 
shore, the ice itself soon began to disappear. It was 
all formed out of fresh water from Mackenzie River, 
mixed with a good deal of mud, so that it melted 
quickly. It very soon became quite porous and difficult 
to walk on. 

Our best time was at an end, as gnats now made their 
appearance again. They arrived on the evening of the 
28th, during a storm from the south-east. They got 

worse every day, and if we had not had some gauze 


The Third Winter. 

material, which we used as mosquito nets, we should 
hardly have survived this plague. 

I brought all the magnetic instruments on board on 
June 30th. Where the stand had been, I erected 
a wooden slab, marked " Gjoa, 1905 — 06." The 

(king POINT.) 

meteoroloo;ical observations were brought to a close the 
same nioht. 

On July 2nd we had a strong gale from the south 
with a temperature of 64'4°. We cast off from the ice 
and proceeded alongside of the " Bonanza." This old 
wreck had given us many a helping hand, and was 
going to do so again. When the land-lead increased 

VOL. II. 209 F 

Chapter XI. 

we hauled astern of the " Bonanza," where the ice left 
us at peace ; it was drifting to and fro on the tides. 
With everything on board we now drew seven feet 

"Alexander." "Jeannette " 

(JULY IITH, 1906.) 

forward and 8 feet 10 inches aft. The main pack of 
ice was drifting out and in, and sometimes threatened 
to come right up to us near the shore. Fortunately it 
did not. We could see much open water beyond it, but 

The Third Winter 

there was nothing for us to do out there before the 
whalers turned up. If they could not get on, certainly 
we could not. There was a great movement of Eskimo 
during these clays. 

Finally, on the evening of July loth, we sighted three 
whalers in the open water outside the ice. It was still 
doubtful whether they would succeed in squeezing 
through. But one of them continued eastwards along 
the ice and entered the channel near us about 5 o'clock 
next morninor. 

Our opportunity had now come, and everything was 
clear for a start. 

p 3 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. On Ski and 
Snow Shoes through Canada and Alaska. 

When I arrived at Herschel Island on October 21st, 
1905, the preparations for the approaching mail trip 
were not yet completed. The captains had invited me 
to come a few days beforehand so that I might be there 
to see after the equipment and discuss the route 
with my companions. Again I went on board the 
" Alexander," where I was received with the usual 

Captain Mogg was to go south with me, and he had 
been requested by the other captains to see to the 
dispatch of the mail. In other words, he was the leader 
of the Expedition and I was to go as his guest. Captain 
Mogg was an old Polar traveller, and had also made 
several sledge trips inland, although it was certainly 
several years since he made his last. He showed 
the greatest enthusiasm, and worked hard with the 
preparations. I had brought several things from the 
" Gjoa," but Captain Mogg did not see the desirability 
of takino- them with us. As his o-uest I could not 
enforce my wishes, so I decided not to make any com- 

With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

ment but to leave myself to be entirely guided by the 
experience of the leader. There was, however, a tin of 
about 14 lbs. of pemmican, which I was rather annoyed 


at having to send back because Captain Mogg would 

not admit that pemmican was the best provision for 

sledge trips. Here, again, I gave in, as the Captain 


Chapter XI I. 

quite put his foot down on my good pemmican, and 
I considered it best not to begin the trip with any 
disagreement. I had enough pemmican and fish meal 
to last my five dogs quite a month, and Mogg had some 
dried fish for his seven dogs ; but it was obvious that he 
could not carry enough of this food with him. As, 
however, vve calculated on reaching- the Indians in three 
weeks we found that, by feeding the dogs all together, 
we should have enough, as by that means we could cut 
down the rations a little. Our own stores consisted of 
beans and pork, which were cooked together, frozen and 
packed in small portions, as also wheat biscuits, rice, 
sugar, butter, tea, coffee, chocolate, milk, figs, raisins, 
and spice. It was certainly a much richer list of stores 
than I was accustomed to, but I had my doubts as to 
whether in solidity this variety could compare with the 
simpler stores we used for our sledge trips. We also 
took with us a tent and tent poles, stove, lamp, sleeping- 
bags, and many other luxuries. As we should not 
be able to use the sledges very long, for when we 
reached the loose deep snow in the mountains we should 
have to adopt the toboggan (the Canadian forest sledge), 
we lashed two of these to our load. The toboggan is 
made like a ski, twelve feet long, and six times as broad 
as an ordinary ski, but with a considerable curve. This 
was the first time I had seen this means of travelling, 
and I was anxious to see how it would turn out in 

On the evening of the 23rd everything was ready for 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

starting, and the extensive correspondence of the fleet 
of whalers was put on Mogg's sledge under lock and 
key. The Eskimo and Mogg had skin clothes like the 
local Eskimo ; I was in Nechilli dress. Manni com- 
plained of pains in both legs after the long and tire- 
some trip from King Point to Herschel Island, and he 
begged to be allowed to return to the " Gjoa " ; so not 
caring to take him against his wish, I obtained a seat for 
him on a sledg-e that was returnino- to King- Point the 
next day. 

The last eveninor we all assembled in the cabin of the 
"Alexander." Captain William Mogg, our leader, was 
a man with a big body, a little head, and small thin 
legs, and when he moved he gave one the impression 
that he was stumbling forward. He was English by 
birth, but had left home at an early age, and eventually 
became a whaler. During our stay on Herschel Island, 
Jimmy, the Eskimo, bore out the very favourable impres- 
sion he had made on me when I met him for the first 
time on the ice. I had pictured Jimmy's wife to myself 
as a charming young creature, but Kappa might more 
easily have been taken for his mother than his wife. 
Kappa had come with a whaler from Kotzebue Sound 
to Herschel, and had met Jimmy, who was a Kagmallik. 
They were legally married both at Herschel Island and at 
Fort Yukon, so that it would have been difficult for them 
to get a divorce. Kappa, in her skin clothing covered 
over with calico, looked like a hay-rick. I took her 
to be over forty, but as a matter of fact, she was con- 


Chapter XII. 

siderably younger. We got very friendly, and I regarded 
her as an elderly aunt. 


At 9 o'clock in the morning of October 24th we 
were ready for starting, and a number of men from 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

the crews of the whalers turned up to see the mail go 
off. A breeze was blowing from the north-east, with 


a temperature of — 4° Fahr., but as we were going 

south-west, it did not trouble us very much. We went 


Chapter XII. 

over the even snow covering of the ice at a dashing pace. 
In front of my sledge I had five dogs, all well broken in, 
and as it was considerably lighter than the other, I soon 
took the lead. The other sledge was drawn by seven 
dogs, but some of them were better than others, and 
they had not been broken in together, the consequence 
being that they gave Jimmy and Kappa plenty of 
trouble. Mogg was on my sledge. Dog-driving here is 
so arranged that the guide runs in front of the team 
and shows the way. We first followed the east side of 
the Island as far as the south-easterly corner ; here we 
crossed over the narrow sound on to the mainland. The 
snow had not yet covered the ground uniformly, so that 
grass tufts were often in the way. However, I strapped 
on my ski and had no further trouble. The others used 
snow-shoes. Here in Alaska the snow-shoes are 
narrower than the broad Canadian ones, and have a 
curved point, which is of great help in travelling. 
I never learnt to use the Canadian snow-shoes properly, 
but on these Alaska ones I got along very well. 

We had first to mount a steep ridge, and not being in 
trim, it was rather hard work for us all. At last we 
reached the top, and the descent on the other side was, 
of course, much easier. At the foot of the slope we 
came on to the frozen bed of Herschel Island River. 
We had to follow the whole course of this river. Its 
delta here was a perfect chaos of sandbanks and gravel 
heaps, and it was very difficult to keep the right course, 

but both Jimmy and Mogg were well acquainted with 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

the region, as they had been here on many a reindeer- 
hunting trip. This is one of the best hunting grounds, and 
thousands of slain animals are carted from here in the 
course of the year down to the sea to the whalers. This 
year the chase would be hotter than usual, as many 
badly provisioned ships are wintering here. Further 
towards the south, the bed of the river was clearer and 
more defined. In many spots the ice was clear, and now 
and then patches of ground stood up in our way, spoiling 
the runners of my sledge. Owing to lack of other 
material, we had had to cover the runners with galvanised 
Iron, but this turned out even worse than I expected. 
It got quite worn through, and the projecting jagged 
pieces made It very hard travelling for the dogs. 
I endeavoured to remedy this by smoothing the runners 
with a stone, but as we were not very far from our 
halting-place, I deferred repairs and endeavoured to 
keep up as well as I could with the others, whose runners 
were In good condition. At half-past four In the after- 
noon we reached the mound In the river on which Jimmy 
had decided to make our first camping spot, as he knew 
that drift wood was always to be found there. The first 
day of a sledge run is always very tiring, and we were 
longing for a rest. In order that the necessary prepara- 
tions might be effected rapidly, we so divided the work 
that Jimmy and Kappa undertook to erect the tent, 
assisted by Mogg, who took all that was necessary from 
the sledges, whilst I collected wood. On this particular 
evening it was very easy work, as small wood was lying 


Chapter XII. 

about all over the bank, as if it had been cut for us ; 
but collecting fuel at night would not always be quite 
so easy. 

When I was ready, I helped the others to put up the 
tent, though it was done on a system quite unknown to 
me. Their tent consisted of the canvas and — eighteen 
tent poles. The place was first cleared of snow as far 


as possible, the snow being banked round the tent like a 
wall. Then they inserted the poles, which were really 
thick willow twigs, and bent them so as to form an arch. 
Twelve of these poles were arranged opposite each other, 
lengthwise of the tent, and six crosswise. When they 
are all driven in firmly, they are bent over and lashed 
together, so that each pair forms a complete arch ; then 
the canvas is stretched over, and the tent is ready, pre- 

With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

senting- die appearance of a hayrick, or igloo. This kind 
of tent has one advantage : the poles can be bent together 
hiorher or lower, accordino- to the weather, and made 
capable of resisting any wind ; but, in other respects, it 
is by no means a handy system for such a trip as ours. 
First of all it takes too much time to set up, and, 
secondly, all the necessary lashings must be done with 
the bare hands. The interior of the tent is never high 
enough to stand upright in — in fact, ours was never more 
than four and a half feet high — but we got accustomed to 
it in time ; then there was the transport. Possibly a 
ready-made tent is more difficult to pack than this flat 
canvas, but even that is doubtful — but then the eighteen 
poles ! They looked like bristles with bent tops, and 
when, after much trouble, they were finally packed away 
on the sledge, they made it look like a hedgehog, and 
were constantly getting caught in something or other on 
the way. Jimmy was a quiet man, but, whenever he had 
to pack these eighteen poles he swore, both in Eskimo 
and English, to his heart's content. An ordinary three- 
pole triangular tent is far preferable to this mushroom 
tent, and, while travelling by land, it is easy to find a 
valley or other shelter from the wind, thus doing away 
with the importance of the only ostensible advantage it 

Jimmy and Kappa were, however, well accustomed to 
this kind of tent, and had it fixed up in a comparatively 
short time. Mogg took from the sledges what was 
necessary for supper and for the night, and Kappa put 

Chapter XII. 

the tent in order whilst Jimmy made a fire. Mog-g did 
the cooking that evening, and, in the meantime, we 
munched a few^ dried figs, of which we each had a 
handful, and they were very acceptable. When the clogs 
had been fed and the sledges carefully tied up for the 
night, we shook the snow off our clothes and went in. 
There was not much room, but I took the inside place, 
next the stove, close to one of the lono- walls, with Moo-e 
next to me ; Jimmy and Kappa lay along the other wall. 
I had to double my legs up ; if Mogg wanted anything, 
he simply rolled over ; and as to the Eskimo, long 
practice had made them contortionists. After the meal 
was finished, we all went peacefully to sleep. 

I awoke the next morning at half-past four and looked 
round me, but none of my companions seemed to be 
troubling about the morning arrangements as yet ; 
indeed, the uniform snoring of the trio indicated the 
very reverse. I took matters quietly and let the time 
pass on. Shortly afterwards Mogg awoke, looked at 
the clock and then at me, but I pretended to be in a 
profound sleep, so Mogg joined in the trio again. A 
quarter of an hour later the Eskimo awoke ; they 
whispered a few words to each other and then turned 
over to sleep again. I calculated that the morning's 
work would occupy about two hours. If we were to get 
off at a reasonable time someone must beein, and as 
my companions were immovable, I turned out and set 
to work. I understood that the pleasant post of cook 
for the morning was intended for the guest, and I was 

With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

allowed to retain the position the whole time. It was 
fortunate that the Expedition had someone who could 
get out of the sleeping bag in the morning. The 
morning work was not very complicated, and principally 
consisted in warming up what was left over from the 
previous night. Whilst I was occupied with this I had 
time both to think and write. The others were snoring 
so loudly that they shook the tent. When I was nearly 
ready I began to wake up my companions ; this took 
some time, as the heat from the stove seemed to act 
like a narcotic on them ; but at last they got up and we 
breakfasted ; then we loaded our sledges, took the tent 
down, and drove on. 

Several of the older ship's officers at Herschel Island 
had expressed their fear that we were beginning our 
trip too early ; from the experience they had gained in 
many sledge trips, they did not think the rivers would 
be quite frozen over yet, and we soon found they were 
right. The river began to curve through sharp rocky 
passes and at many spots was open, so that the passages 
were exceptionally narrow. It was a delight to me 
to see real rocks again after the lapse of two years. 
The steep banks reached some four hundred feet high, 
and consisted of solid rock as opposed to the earth hills 
and moss heaps we had travelled over. I also knew 
that on this day we should reach the wooded district, 
and I was very excited at every turn in our course. 
When at length the first fir tree stood out against the 
sky up on the ridge — a very diminutive, battered little 


Chapter XI I. 

Christmas tree, hanging out of a crevice — it produced a 
wonderful sensation, reminding- me that we were now 
out of the Polar regions and on more homely human 
ground : at that moment I could have left everything 
that was in my charge and scrambled up the rock to 
catch hold of that crooked stem and draw in the scent 
of the fir trees and the woods. 

Now and then in the narrow passes we encountered 
strong southerly gusts of wind which overturned dogs, 
sledges, and men on the slippery ice that offered no 
foothold. This was very tiring, and considerably cielayed 
us. After running in front of the sledges all that day, 
a little rest was very agreeable in the evening, when we 
had found a good camping place on a little head of land 
looking on to a small pine wood. At first I had a good 
deal of trouble to collect wood. The Eskimo who 
constantly travel this route had so stripped the woods 
of dry timber that you had to search high and low to 
find enouo'h for the nig-ht. I started with the axe on 
my shoulder, but was very conscious that my legs had 
already done good service that day, The snow lay 
deep between the trees and made very heavy walking ; 
certainly I had my ski on, but I must admit that under 
conditions such as these, snow shoes have their 
advantages. They are easier to put on and take off, 
and one can twist and turn more quickly in such country 
as this, but at other times I would not have been 
without my ski on any consideration. The Eskimo here 

had often seen ski. When wintering at Herschel Island 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

many of the crew passed the time running on ski in the 
hills. There were often Norsemen among- them who 
could show the Eskimo some first-class ski running. 
For practical use, however, as for example, on such a 
trip as we were undertaking, they placed no reliance on 
ski. They often looked at them, and turned them 
round, but shook their heads at them, althouo-h before 
I separated from my companions they began to have 
some respect for my ski. 

The next day we were stopped by water on the ice : 
it was not the open river, but water flowing on the 
surface. This inundation of the ice occurred frequently, 
even in the severest frost. We kept going till we were 
knee-deep in water, but at mid-day we had to give up 
and go on land and pitch our tent. We were in a narrow 
pass with high sides, and in the evening a splendid 
northern light spread its quivering strips of colour from 
one rock to the other. The next day the water had 
frozen, and with a little care we made some further pro- 
gress. It was very wild scenery, large fissures showing 
in the rocks, filled with broken stones, large and small. 
The rocks extended right up to the river. They were 
not very high, but increased in height as we advanced. 
We followed the course of the river, the land rising so 
gradually as to be unnoticeable. 

On the morning of the 27th we passed over a little 
side valley, running out westwards. Here the landscape 
suddenly appeared like a piece of genuine Norwegian 
scenery, timbered and rocky. The little valley was 

VOL. II. 225 Q 

Chapter XII. 

closely covered with trees, and from the lowest point 

there rose a huge snow cone to a height of quite 

2,000 feet, while in the bosom of the valley nestled two 

little tents, like pictures from a fairy scene, with the 

smoke rising peacefully from the chimneys. Of course, 

we could not pass these simple folk without speaking to 

them, so we approached them ; indeed, it might be they 

had fresh meat to sell us. We found the Eskimo 

occupied with their morning duties. As a rule, none 

of the Eskimo get up very early, they prefer to keep 

late nights. With their usual hospitality we were invited 

to partake of tea and fresh bread ; the Eskimo make 

this very quickly : some flour, water, and baking powder 

are mixed in a pan and soon converted into excellent 

Polar cake ; with a little syrup this is by no means bad. 

While chatting over the tea they told us that the river 

was open immediately ahead of us, and that we would 

have to pass over a ridge of land in order to get to the 

ice on the other side. They knew the country, and 

offered to guide us if we waited until the next day. We 

were easily persuaded to agree to this. These people 

consisted of four Eskimo, two men and two women. 

They were there hunting, and on the day before had 

had the good fortune to kill a reindeer and a mountain 

goat. The mountain goat is a very beautiful animal, 

brilliant white, with spiral horns, but shy and swift as 

lightning, so it is not very easily caught. When the feast 

was over we went to fix up our tent, and the hunters 

started off in another direction. We spent most of the 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

rest of the day in feasting on the fresh meat we had pur- 
chased. From the beginning of my career as a sailor I 
had noticed that the rations deak out to us were much too 
small for a man to do any real hard work on, so I always 
utilised every opportunity, and I did so now, of laying 
in as good a foundation as possible to make up for the 
shortage in the days to come. Jimmy had made the 
same observation as regards his inner man, and had 
made the same plans as I had. Like all women folk. 
Kappa ate but little, and Mogg had heartburn and could 
not eat anything. We had a good deal of trouble with 
the dogs, who every now and then began to fight with 
the strange dogs, so that we had to go out and separate 
them. In the evening the hunters came home with two 
reindeer, and said they had seen a herd of sixteen. 
They told us that the deer generally remained in these 
regions throughout the whole of the winter. We bartered 
for a large joint, which we cut up into small pieces and 
took with us. 

The next day we had a good stiff climb to get over 
the ridge of land ; it was steep and full of roots and 
stumps, but fortunately they were not very large, and 
after a good deal of hard work we again reached the 
river ice. By 1 1 o'clock in the morning we were at 
Blow-hole, a notorious narrow pass between rocks 
1,500 feet high — the very mention of which causes a 
shudder. The ice was all strewn with pieces of stone 
blown from the rocks, and it would have been no laughing 
matter to have been hit by one of these flying pieces. It 

227 Q 2 

Chapter XII. 

was blowine so hard that I had to he down flat on the 


ice, and the dogs rushed heker skeker with the sledges. 
Those acquainted with the region said it was very mild 
weather for the place, so I had to be grateful that it was 
not what they called really bad. 

Some time after we met an Eskimo family with two 
toboggans. The man was a special friend of Jimmy and 
known as one of the cleverest hunters around Herschel 
Island. He had no less than sixty reindeer lying spread 
out in the fields and was now on his way to Herschel to 
get help to cart them in. It was only i o'clock in the 
afternoon when we met these Eskimo but we agreed to 
stop and pitch our camp together and partake of their 
reindeer. Jimmy and I winked at each other behind our 
leader's back, happy at the chance of having another 
good meal. This was the second time we made a 
voluntary stop in the middle of the day, but I made no 
objection, as the river was open in several places further 
up and so we were in no hurry. Both man and beast 
required to be properly fed and we could make room for 
a little more meat on the sledoes. Mooe had taken a 
whole sack of tea with him and this proved very useful, 
as the Eskimo here would sell their immortal souls for a 
pound of tea. 

As we advanced towards the south the landscape 
assumed a milder character, the rocks rounded off and 
sloped uniformly down towards the banks of the river. 
Here too the snow was firm and eave a o-Qod foot-hold 
for us as we ran in front of our sledees. We crossed a 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

great number of reindeer tracks and now and then the 
track of a wolf The latter prefer more southerly 
regions when there is food enough, and this was the case 
this year. When we occasionally encountered water on 
the ice we pulled on our water-proof boots and managed 
to get along fairly well. On the 30th we reached the 
source of the river, a large lake surrounded by high 
mountains ; I estimated the highest of these at about 
4,000 feet, and here the Eskimo family we had recently 
met had established a depot. In these regions they 
establish their depots on quite a different system to that 
adopted by our Nechilli friends. They erect a platform 
on four standards about the height of a man ; they then 
lay the food on this and well cover it with pine branches, 
so that Mr. Fox can come along and sniff and jump as 
much as he likes ; he gets about as much taste out of it 
as out of the famous sour grapes, 

Mogg showed me a hill at the foot of which a tragedy 
was enacted some years ago. A number of the crew of 
the whaling fleet had conspired together and deserted 
with the sledges laden with stores, weapons, and ammu- 
nition. Some officers were sent out with a number of 
Eskimo to overtake and arrest the deserters, and it was 
just at this spot they were discovered, as they were 
building snow huts for themselves. They were com- 
manded to surrender, but answered by opening fire, and 
a fight began. Two deserters were shot, two others 
surrendered, and the rest fled to the woods. One would 

have thought that nothing but certain death awaited 


Chapter XII. 

these fugitives, here in the midst of winter and without 
either food or clothing, yet five of them, after terrible 
sufferings, reached Fort Yukon ; the rest, however, 
perished on the way. 

We crossed the water and pitched our tent on the 
other side. The following day a walk of two or three 
hours brought us to a pine-covered headland, where we 
halted and changed our sledges for the toboggans, and 
commenced transferring- the loads. I thoug^ht I should 
never find room for all my load on that little toboggan, 
nor should I have done so, if I had had to do the 
loading myself, but Jimmy managed it. There is an 
art in packing a toboggan. The load must not be too 
high, or it will turn over ; it must not be too broad, 
or it will project at the sides and act as a brake ; conse- 
quently the load must be packed low and narrow — not a 
very easy job when one has much to pack, and, besides, 
the toboggan should be slightly back-loaded. We stood 
the sledges up against a couple of trees, and also left 
behind us a quantity of other articles we found we could 
dispense with, intending to collect them on our return 
journey. When on the river we had crossed the borders 
of Canada, and were now in Alaska. We completed 
our work early in the afternoon, and were able to enjoy 
a little rest in the tent. It was a very pleasant evening ; 
we spread the floor of the tent with fresh pine branches, 
and the dried wood burned brightly and cheerfully in the 
stove. Some pot or other was always over the fire ; we 

could never have too much water. We had a pack of 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

cards with us, and Jimmy and Kappa were enthusiastic 
players. They knew a great many different kinds of 
games of which I understood nothing, but they grew 
so enthusiastic over them that they screamed and roared 
like children. When it began to get warm, and it varied 
now between 86° and ioo° Fahr., it was always both 
desirable and pleasant to take off one's skin clothing 
to prevent it getting wet. For decency's sake we kept 
our shirts on, though we should have preferred to 
dispense with them, but we had to consider Kappa, 
as being one of the fair sex. The lantern was sus- 
pended from the middle of the roof and gave a very 
cheerful light ; Mogg and I wrote up our diaries. One 
thing Jimmy and Kappa taught me, which I had never 
practised on a sledge trip before, and that was to wash 
myself every morning, and, if I forgot it, Kappa would 
at once appear with soap and water. Strange to say, 
they could not imagine anyone beginning the day without 

At 8 o'clock the next morning we continued on our 
way, but Jimmy's knowledge of the road ended here ; 
however, we pushed on very confidently. The mountains 
in front of us were given on the map as 9,000 feet high, 
but with all due respect I take the liberty of estimating 
them at not more than 5,000 feet. On November 3rd 
we stood on the summit, which forms the watershed 
between the rivers flowing south and those flowing 
towards the Polar seas. The country was all mountainous 

here, and the wooded districts lay a little lower down on 


Chapter XI I. 

either side. There could not have been much wind on 
the mountain, as the snow was loose and deep, conse- 
quently the work of the dogs was very heavy. My dogs 
especially fared badly, as my toboggan was very roughly 
made of spruce wood, which soon splintered up under- 
neath and turned into a sort of harrow ; but the other 
one, made of birch, was as smooth as ice. Our marching 
order was as follows : Kappa and Jimmy took the lead, 
to show the way and make a track for the dogs, then 
came Mosfof, who acted as a steam-roller, as he floundered 
about and made a splendid track. They travelled on 
snowshoes and made a track just wide enough for the 
toboggans ; then came the dogs with the first toboggan 
and I followed with mine. I now saw the utility of the 
tackle they generally use, whereby the dogs are harnessed 
up in single file and are forced, whether they like it or 
not, to keep to the track, and this is of very great 
importance to those who follow. 

When up on the hill we looked down into a little 
valley and saw that it led to Porcupine River, and once 
there we would be all right. There was a steep descent 
to the valley, but the snow was soft and I anticipated 
having a good, pleasant slide. I unharnessed the dogs, 
stretched myself out on the toboggan, and let her go. 
But I had reckoned without the dogs. When they saw 
the toboggan start they ran forward to get into their 
places again ; they got in front, but they did not find 
their places, Down the mountain side we went altogether 
— toboggan, dogs, and I, one over the other, till we 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

stopped at the bottom of the valley. For the most of 
the way I had had the dogs and the toboggan on top 
of me, and was mad at the stupid creatures for having 
spoilt my slide. I got up and brushed off the snow from 
myself and saw Mogg, who had found his own way 
down, standing a little distance off, splitting his sides with 
laughter. On the summit of the hill, Kappa and Jimmy 
were screaming with delight. I thought of venting my 
wrath on the dogs and giving them a good thrashing, 
but eventually decided to join in the general laughter. 
The Eskimo, with their heavy toboggan, were wiser 
than I. They took hold of it on each side and let it 
clown quietly. 

The little valley led first towards the south-east, then 
due south, and eventually it led again into the mountains ; 
so it did not extend very far. The sun shone brightly 
in the mid-day sky right in front of us, showing us the 
way. By going straight towards it we should pass over 
the mountains to Porcupine River. In cases of this 
kind, the Eskimo are invaluable ; they at once see, from 
the general lie of the land in which direction progress 
will be easiest. This time, however, there was a 
difference of opinion between Jimmy and Kappa, but 
Kappa's arguments seemed to be the most convincing 
and Jimmy at last yielded to them. Later, however, 
we found that Jimmy was right, though Kappa, of 
course, would not admit it. 

It began to be very cold up here in the mountains. 
We had no thermometer with us, but judging from the 


Chapter XIL 

drift snow I calculated the temperature to be considerably 
below — 2 2° Fahr. We now started in the early 
morning when it was dark, the Aurora Borealis every 
now and then lighting us on our way. I often regretted 
now that I had not brought my snow shoes with me, as 
ski often cut into the deep snow and catch in the twigs 
or in the large grass tufts ; even toboggans are not very 
practical on this kind of ground as they are constandy 
turning over and causing much annoyance and dis- 
comfort. Finally on the 4th we reached a real river bed. 
Certainly it was not very wide, merely a brook, but 
sharply defined with high banks. And here we travelled 
splendidly over the ice. The dogs went at full gallop. 
However, the brook soon twisted and curved so much 
that we had to take short cuts by crossing the land, and 
on the following day we came upon a broad river bed. 
We found out later that this was Coleen River, one 
of the many tributaries of the Porcupine River. Here 
it was excellent travelling, there being a couple of inches 
of snow on the ice, and I thought I would show them 
what could be done on ski. Mogg, who had to trudge 
on snow shoes over the mountains, because the dogs 
were not capable of pulling him along, now took a seat 
on my toboggan ; and on a track like this, my dogs 
could have dragged double his weight. So off I went. 
Jimmy was leading, but the snow shoes did not glide 
along like the ski, and I quickly passed him. " Well 
Jimmy, what do you think of ski now?" I was soon 
a long way in front. Travelling over the ice was not 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

altogether without danger as the river was open in 
places ; these could always be seen from a distance, but 
sometimes the ice is so thin that it is very easy to drop 
through if you are not very careful. Now the high 
peaked mountains gradually disappeared behind us and 
we came into large woods. 

The first two or three hours in the mornino- were 
always the hardest both for man and beast — especially for 
the latter — as they were stiff from the previous day's 
work and rather lazy, but Jimmy soon whipped them up 
and made them lively, and then we went along smartly. 
We had, however, been compelled to reduce the dogs' 
rations and the effect of this was soon apparent ; they 
grew thin and lost strength. We ourselves had still 
provisions for some days, assuming that we used them as 
carefully as before. 

On November 7th, at 3.30 in the afternoon, Jimmy 
suddenly stopped ; his sharp eyes had discovered some- 
thing unusual away on the ice. He rushed to the spot 
and called out to us, " Itkillich tomai ! " — tracks of 
Indians! His voice had an echo of cjladness in it. 
Now our troubles would soon be over and we should 
have plenty to eat. We followed the track and soon 
came to a wooden hut. My excitement was intense, for 
I was at last to see real Indians, who, in boyhood's clays, 
had so filled my imagination with vivid scenes. I ex- 
pected to see the door open and a copper-coloured fellow 
emerge, with feathers in his hair, swinging his tomahawk 

over his head, and yelling " Ugh ! " to us. Or perhaps 


Chapter XII. 

he was lurking behind one of the trees in the wood. 

The door opened, and out came a quiet man in black 

clothes and wearing a black hat. He stood quietly and 

looked at us. We greeted him in a friendly way in 

English, and he also answered us amiably in the same 

language. Shortly afterwards his wife appeared. It 

mio;ht all have been an incident from a walking- tour at 

home ; they looked exactly like a couple of peasants 

from the Norwegian hio-hlands. We remained with them 

for a couple of days, and fed up the dogs as well as 

ourselves. They sold us some frozen fish and some elk 

meat in exchano-e for tea and candles. 

On the loth we pushed further along the same river 

course. Birch trees began to appear here and there, and 

many other things showed that we were getting further 

south. On the afternoon of the 12th we saw the track 

of a tobosrean and of snow-shoes. W^e followed these 

until dark. We pitched our camp and followed the 

tracks the next morning, but lost them owing to fog 

setting in. At 10 o'clock in the morning, Jimmy told us 

he could see a wooden hut on the bank ; his eagle eye 

had not deceived him, and when we reached the hut we 

found two women there, but the fancies of my boyhood 

received a rude shock ; surely the squaws of the brave 

Mohicans, or even those of the sly Iroquois, could never 

have looked like these ! One of the women had the 

under lip hanging right down to her breast, and the other 

held her head on one side and regarded us with a very 

surly look. They were two horrid guys. The meeting 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

between them and Kappa was very effusive. They 
greeted one another and chattered together as only old 
cronies can, and none of them understood a word of what 
the other said, not a jot. We got a bundle of dried fish 
from them in exchancre for some tea and biscuits. The 
husband of one of the women and the son of the other 
had gone away two days before to see a merchant at 
Porcupine River. The friendly ladies explained to our 
great satisfaction that by following the tracks of the men 
we could take a short cut and save two days' journey. 
The one with the surly look accompanied us to put us on 
the track. It was difficult enough to clamber up the 
hill to the wood where the track was ; repeatedly we had 
to carry the toboggan bodily, but once on the top the 
track was splendid. Our guide left us and we started off 
at a good speed. Here, again, I found further cause to 
praise the harness more than ever. If the dogs had had 
separate traces they would certainly have run one on 
each side of a tree and brought us to a standstill ; but 
now running the toboggan in a smoothed-out track was 
mere child's play, and there was no need for me to be in 
front of the dogs to encourage and lead them. Every- 
thing went automatically. So I pushed on to catch up 
with the Eskimo. Mogg lay face downwards on his 
load singing and humming. Everyone was in good 
spirits at the idea that we would be in Fort Yukon 
in a week. When I overtook the Eskimo I heard 
the quiet Jimmy shouting for joy whilst Kappa held on 
to the back of the toboggan and danced with delight. 


Chapter XI I. 

Towards the evening of the 14th the dogs got scent 
of man and food, and they began to run as they 
had never run before. It was rather steep going down, 
but it was impossible to hold the dogs in, I was in 
front on ski, and every curve and ledge I whizzed over 
made me shudder for the loads behind me. Finally 
I reached Porcupine River near the little Indian colony, 
where lived the merchant already referred to. Poor 
Mogg arrived last. He had had a most anxious time 
holding on to the load, and in reply to my question 
declared he had had no time to admire the beauties of 
the wooded landscape. In order to prevent any fighting 
between our dogs and those of the Indians we set up the 
tent at some distance from the colony. The merchant 
turned out to be an Indian. He was a very fine fellow, 
about six feet high, with dark hair and full moustache. 
He was dressed in black and wore a white fox-skin 
collar. His stock of goods was not very varied, — some 
dry salmon, that was all. He thought we could cover 
the rest of the way to Fort Yukon in four days. We 
bouoht some salmon from him, and both we and the 
dogs had a good meal. The next day we left the brave 
John Alvert, such was his name, and continued our 

Had we known it we could have considerably 

shortened our way by now and then cutting across 

the land, but not knowing this we had to follow the 

twisting bed of the river the whole time. We passed 

several loo- huts which were uninhabited. There must 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

be a great number of hares in these regions as the snow 
was often trampled hard with tracks, and occasionally we 
found a dead hare ; probably we had disturbed some 
bird of prey at meal-time. When the dogs got scent of 
such a tit-bit they started off at full speed ; of course it 
was only the first who got the prey, but this never taught 
the others anything. They rushed ahead each time with 
unabated energy and renewed hope. Even stout Fix, 
who was the last dog in the team, ran as if he would 
break his harness. Fix was one of the dogs Atalanga 
had brought to Ogchoktu, when he brought our first 
mail. But later on during our stay in Eagle City, Fix 
got so fat that I had to leave him behind ; he was 
incapable even of following the sledge. 

On the 1 8th we again saw fresh tracks, and as they led 
inland we followed them. In the evening the dogs 
began to get very lively, they must have got scent of 
something, and that something quite out of the common, 
judging from the rate at which they dashed along. At 
5 o'clock we sighted a house, and half-an-hour later we 
were with the Indians in Salmon Creek. We occasioned 
quite a stir when we arrived. The first thing we noticed 
was that there was only one man and a number of 
women. The fact was that all the men had gone to 
Fort Yukon to trade ; " Old Thomas " alone remained 
behind. He invited us in and told us he had several 
times travelled the same way as we had and it eventually 
transpired that he and Mogg were old acquaintances from 
Herschel Island. Exceptional hospitality was shown us ; 


Chapter XII. 

the one room which was already occupied by five people 
was vacated and placed at our disposal. There were 
two stoves in it, and these were kept continually 
going. Old Thomas was a remarkable fellow. He 
spoke four languages, English, French, Eskimo, and 
Indian, and had a great deal to tell us about his many 
wanderings. Mogg, who was more kindly disposed to 
Eskimo and the Indians than to his own people, presented 
him with a little of everything, tobacco, tea, matches, etc., 
and when we started the next morning, the old man 
declared that Mr. Mogg was an angel. I did not say 
how far I agreed with this opinion. 

While we were made perfectly welcome, the dogs had 
made themselves at home very unceremoniously. Good- 
ness only knows how, but somehow they had attacked 
the dep6t and helped themselves to its contents so freely 
that in the morning they could hardly move. We should 
really have reached Fort Yukon that evening, but owing 
to the overfed condition of the dogs, they could not get 
along very quickly and we had to pitch our tent for the 
last time. The next morning we met four Indian 
tobogganers. These were men of the colony returning 
home. They looked very smart in their bead 
embroidered clothing. The harness on the dogs was 
also embroidered and adorned with litde bells. Indeed 
they regarded their clothes as of great value, and once 
when I inquired the price of a jacket, I was asked 
thirty-five dollars for it ; but clothes are generally dear in 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

At 1.30 in the afternoon of Novcmhcr 20th wc arrived 
at Fort Yukon, which is situated on a steej) river hank, 
where the Porcupine joins the Yukon River, I cannot 
say that the fortress made any ^reat impression on me. 
Two white merchants lived there, and I must mention 
the excellent and very kind Mr. Jack Carr ; otherwise 
the colony consisted of some thirty odd Indian huts. 
The business of the merchant is to barter for furs with 
the Indians, There is also a school and a mission here. 
I had reluctantly to take off my fme Nechilli dress, as 
it was the object of too much attention on the j)art of the 
numerous youths, who followed me in lar^e groups 
wherever I went. 

Glad as I was to arrive, I was disappointed with Fort 
Yukon. I had built my hopes on finding;' a telejj^raph 
station here, but, unfortunately, the nearest station was 
Eagle City, 200 miles to the south, higher up the river. 
There was no help for it. I wanted to get into com- 
munication with home, and to do that 1 must go on 
to Eagle City. Jimmy and Kappa remained behind. 
Kappa was fairly worn out after the journey and wanted 
rest. Mogg and I therefore engaged an Indian as 
guide, this being still necessary at that time, in the 
narrowest portion of the Yukon River. The river is 
full of islands, forming a network of sounds and channels 
which one must be acquainted with to find one's way 
through, and the mails were not regular enough to make 
a sufficiently reliable track. The mail leaving i^'ort 
Yukon has its terminal point in Circle City ; there it 

VOL. II. 241 R 

Chapter XII. 

is taken over by another mail carrier, who takes it 
further south. But the whole of the postal communica- 
tion between Fort Yukon and Dawson City, via Eagle, 
is effected by four carriers, who use sledges and dogs. 
Between Eagle and Dawson Cities horses are also used. 
The total distance from Yukon to Dawson is estimated 
by the carriers at 300 miles. 

I arrived at Yukon with only about half of my 
toboesran. Two of the four boards were worn out, 
so I had to buy a new one from an Indian. Our load 
was light now, as we no longer needed tent or other 
equipments. The little we carried with us was on my 
toboggan ; the guide, Charlie, had his own toboggan, and 
Mogg travelled on his. We started at a fine speed up 
the river, and it was evidently Charlie's ambition to show 
us what sort of people the Indians were. He was ahead, 
and ran in front of his dogs as hard as he could. How- 
ever, what with the light load and their long training, 
my dogs were not to be beaten ; they kept well up to 
Charlie's toboggan, and I followed behind on my ski. 
Mr. Charlie out-distanced none of us. In the evening 
we came to a wooden hut, put up for the mail carriers. 
It was very comfortable and cosy, and divided into two 
rooms, one for the toboggans, and in the other were 
two bedsteads, two chairs, a table, and a stove. The 
bedsteads were covered with fresh pine branches, and 
were very attractive after our twenty-miles travelling. 
The next day we passed a little hut, where a wood- 
cutter lived. Of course, we looked in. Mr. Lee Provost 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

was quite an exceptional fellow. He seemed to be 
endowed with all the good qualities of mankind, and his 
personality and open hospitality made such an impres- 
sion on us that we remained the night with him. 

On the 26th we arrived at Circle City and said good- 
bye to our guide ; and we were not sorry to do so, as he 
was an impertinent and conceited fellow, whose principal 
desire was to show us that he had learned from the 


missionaries that white folk and coloured folk were 
equals. Owing to this he managed to make himself 
very disagreeable, showing that good teaching may 
sometimes turn out badly. 

Circle City must be regarded as " quite a little town," 
as witness its liquor shops and dancing saloon, to say 
nothinor of the fi^htinCT and drunkenness resulting there- 


R 2 

Chapter XII.. 

from. We were lucky enough to find out that the 
mail-carrier, Mr. Harpar, was starting southward next 
mornino-, and, of course, it was a g^reat advantao^e to us 
to accompany him. The mail-carriers in Alaska are 
splendid sledge drivers ; their dogs are of the best, but 
very different to the Polar dogs. As a rule, they are 


short haired and long legged ; their long legs are an 

advantage in the deep snow, and, as they sleep indoors, 

they do not need any thick coat. 

From Circle City, towards the south, one meets with 

the so-called Road Houses, small log huts providing 

" food and lodgings for travellers." They are situated 

along the river at intervals of about twenty miles, and 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

generally consist of three rooms, the room for the guest, 
the kitchen, and a little room for the proprietor. All 
arrivals are packed into the first room. Those who have 
not their own beds with them must share with another ; 
but people in these parts, after travelling all day and 
arriving very tired, are not very particular. F'or us, who 
had come from the northern regions, these " hotels " were 
perfect wonders of comfort and elegance, but they were 
also very expensive. The sleeping place, whether you 
slept alone or shared it, cost a dollar. Each meal, 
I '50 dollars. One day's board and lodging, with three 
meals, came to more than 20 Norwegian kroners 
(22s. 6d.). But the prices of everything are exception- 
ally high in Alaska, and, when gold is discovered in the 
neighbourhood, they go up by leaps and bounds. These 
high prices are naturally occasioned by the difficulties 
and cost of transport. In Fairbanks, on the Tanana 
River, where the last great discovery of gold was made, 
a pair of snow-shoes fetched forty dollars, and a dog was 
worth fifty dollars. Even these prices are insignificant 
as compared with those which were paid on the occasion 
of the rush to Klondyke. I have been informed, on 
reliable authority, that 2,500 dollars were once offered 
for a team of live dogs — and the offer was refused. 
Everything else was on the same lines. 

I now approached Eagle City with great excitement. 
At last I was to be in direct communication with home, 
and get all the news from my own fatherland. As we 

rounded the last point, there, only two miles away, lay 


Chapter XI I. 

Eagle City, with its blue smoke standing out darkly 
against the bright sky. You can imagine how over- 
powering is the thought that within a few hours you will 
be in touch with the dear ones at home. When we got 
near the town, we left the ice and drove into the city to 
the telegraph office, which was situated within the walls 
of Fort Egbert. Fort Egbert was occupied by two 
companies of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, and the officers 
received me most kindly. I despatched my precious 
telegram, which was only just in time, as shortly after- 
wards the wires broke down, owing to the intense cold. 

I remained two months in Eagle City, waiting the 
mail from home. I shall never forget that time, as it is 
associated with some of my most cherished and pleasant 
recollections. I was the guest of Mr. Frank N. Smith, 
Manaoer of the laroe firm of the " Northern Commercial 
Company." We have a saying that " when three clays 
old, guests and fish get stale," but this saying could never 
apply in Mr. Smith's house, and now, after the lapse of 
time, while writing these lines, my mind is still filled 
with the warmest and most heartfelt gratitude to this 

On February 3rd I again started for the north. I had 
now received all the news from home, including letters 
and papers, and was glad to get away. 

On my way back I again met with liberal hospitality 
in Alaska. Mr. Jack Carr, of Fort Yukon, whose guest 
I was for three days, did all in his power to facilitate my 

journey over the mountains. I also owe a debt of 


With the Eskimo and the Indians. 

gratitude to Mr. Daniel Cadzow, of Rampart House, on 
the Porcupine River, the last point of contact with 
civilisation, where I passed some pleasant days before I 
started back for the mountains. Nor must I forget to 
thank the two brave mail-carriers on the Yukon River ; 
they always did all in their power to help me, and were 
exceptionally kind. 

I then started for the north. The whip cracked, the 
dogs pulled, and we were off northwards — to the " Gjoa " 
and my comrades. 




The first vessel to enter the open channel off the shore, 

was the " Bowhead," Captain Cook. She anchored off 

Cape Sabine to pick up driftwood, there being a large 

quantity at that point. When the other two vessels saw 

that the " Bowhead " had succeeded in getting round into 

the open channel, they followed, but were unable to get 

in until the afternoon. Lookino- across the ice, we could 

see they were the " Alexander" and " Jeannette," of San 

Francisco. As I had to see Captain Tilton before my 

departure, with a view to arranging matters connected 

with Dr. Wight's transfer from the " Alexander " to the 

" Gjoa," we lay there for the time being, and waited. 

We had enouoh to do as it was. Durino- the last few 

days Lindstrom had baked a large quantity of white 

bread and stowed it away in casks. By this means we 

should have soft bread for some time to come. His oven 

in the house on shore was still full of bread, and we could 

not leave until our " Handy Man " returned. We utilised 

the remaining hours collecting wood, in addition to what 

we had already. We stowed wood in every possible and 

impossible nook and corner of the boat. We were lying 



on the starboard side of the wreck, quite Hghtly moored 
and ready to get under way at any moment. It was a 
beautiful afternoon and the sea was perfectly calm. The 
dog^s were lying- on the forecastle, basking in the sun. 
Had they anticipated what was impending, they would 
scarcely have been lying- so quietly. We had become 
fond of our swift animals, notwithstanding their vices and 
all the trouble and anxiety they caused us. 

The Eskimo had assembled on board the " Bonanza " 
to see us off ; they were all there, Kataksina, with little 
Anni on her back, as well as Kunak and Neiu with their 
wives and sons. We were now waiting with growing 
impatience, there was nothing more for us to do. At 
last, the two stout friends came upon the forecastle, each 
carrying a loaf of bread. Sten intended going out with 
us to meet the " Alexander," and returning with her. It 
was an anxious moment when the two corpulent gentle- 
men stood poised on the narrow gangway ; we looked on 
with our hearts in our mouths, trembling for the safety 
both of themselves and their loaves ; then the command 
was given : " Cast off! Full speed ahead ! " And the 
good ship " Gjoa " started on the last and final stage of 
her long voyage. As we passed Wiik's grave, we lowered 
our flag to half mast and paid a last tribute of friendship 
to his memory. Then the flag was run up again, and we 
ploughed ahead. 

The beach presented an animated scene. All our good 

friends and acquaintances, both white men and Eskimo, 

were there, busy collecting drift wood, and they kept 


Chapter XIII. 

cheering and waving so that we had to dip our flag again 
and again in response. Meanwhile the " Alexander " 
was drawing near and I gave the order to " Stop," so as 
to wait for her. As the vessel approached, Captain Tilton 


shouted to us several times, but we could not understand 
a word. He must have been in a hurry, as he did not 
stop, but continued his course towards King Point. 
Having, as I have stated, promised Dr. Wight to take 
him on board, we could not do otherwise than turn round 



and follow her. It was no great distance after all. The 
"Alexander" and the " Jeannette " were lying to, and 
when we got alongside we also lay to. As soon as we 
had put Sten ashore and had taken the Doctor on board, 
we hastened to resume our voyage. Off Cape Sabine we 
stopped and sent a boat over to the " Bowhead," still 
lying there, to get some sperm oil. It was Dr. Wight 
who had advised this, on account of Manni who had been 
unable to get rid of his cold. 

After we had been under way for a couple of hours or 
so, the engineer came and reported that the whole engine- 
room was flooded with water. Heigho ! it must be the 
effect of the water on the vessel, she must have sprung a 
leak. We at once sounded the pumps but found that 
she had no more water in her than usual. Eventually we 
found that the sole cause of the mischief was some old 
ice we had on board ; it had suddenly melted and formed 
a channel communicating between the main hold and the 
engine room, all the water rushing aft. We escaped this 
time with nothino- more than a frieht. The enp-ine 
worked well and we made three knots. A slight puff of 
wind from the east with a swell, indicated that the bay at 
the mouth of the Makenzie River was open. At last we got 
round to the outside of the ice and set our course towards 
the west. The wind freshened, and the swell was heavy. 
When I came on deck at 6 a.m. next morning, we had 
King Point on our beam abaft. I took up my telescope 
and singled out the familiar spots, the wreck, the houses 
and the cross. This cross rose high up against the clear 


Chapter XIII. 

sky, and seemed to give us a message of " Love to all at 

It was blowing a fresh breeze from the south-east, and 
we went smartly ahead westward. When we came to 
Herschel Island we found it surrounded with ice. But 
what did that matter to us ? We had no business on the 


island, and laughed at the sapient skippers whose last 
advice to us was that we should run into the harbour and 
remain lying there quietly for at least a fortnight ; but 
now we could see ahead of us, beyond the island, that 
the condition of the ice was most favourable, and we 
laughed at the sages. But, alas, it is not well to dis- 



regard the voice of experience. We had not proceeded 
far on our beautiful course when we found that the open 
water was merely a kind of inlet in the ice to the west, 
a mere cul-de-sac. We had to return promptly and try 
to make our way into the harbour. A fresh westerly 
wind opportunely laid the harbour open for us, but we 
had to run so close in under the north-east point of the 
island that we had barely nine feet of water. However, 
we managed to squeeze through, and at 2.30 a.m. of 
July 13th we cast anchor. 

This afforded us a very good, though brief, 
opportunity of studying Herschel Island without its pall 
of snow. The island is small and is covered all over 
with moss. It is separated from the mainland by a narrow, 
shallow sound. When Franklin passed here in 1826, he 
did not observe the excellent harbour on the east side of 
the island. Hence he says that the narrow sound is the 
only place of refuge for a vessel between this and the 
Mackenzie River, Franklin did not at that time anti- 
cipate the great importance Herschel Island was destined 
to assume. The harbour is good in all winds. It is true 
that a south-west wind would blow right into the harbour, 
but it could hardly do any damage, although it has 
happened, in very exceptional weather, such as is not 
experienced more than once in a generation, that boats 
have been driven ashore. It was Franklin who dis- 
covered and named the island, but it is the bold 
American whalers who have made it what it is. They 
were exceedingly badly off for harbours on the North 


Chapter XIII. 

American coast, and the discovery of Herschel Island 

was therefore of great importance to whalers. It was 

in 1889 that they pushed through to this island. It had 

taken many years to get so far, and a good many lives 

were lost in the attempts. The first calamity that befell 

the struggling whalers' fleet was due neither to foul 

weather nor to ice. During the war between the 

Northern and Southern States in 1865, a man-of-war 

belonging to the Southern States went north and burnt 

thirty ships and destroyed about three million dollars' 

worth of property. In 1876, thirty vessels got stuck 

fast in the ice off Barrow Point. Some seventy men 

of the crews abandoned their vessels to save their lives, 

but nothing was ever heard of any one of them. Later on, 

in 1897, a number of vessels were crushed by the ice. 

Lastly, in 1905, the ice set in towards the coast a month 

earlier than usual, stopping all traffic. But no vessels 

were lost on that occasion, as all managed to find a 

harbour of refuQ-e. On the whole, the hunt for the 

precious bowhead whale has been a very costly one. 

Of the bowhead whale, the whalebone alone is used ; 

all the rest goes to the fishes. But then the present 

average value of the whalebone taken from one whale is 

10,000 dollars. Whale hunting is not by any means 

easy or free from danger. The bowhead whale is very 

wary, and is scared away by the least noise. As soon as 

a whale is sighted, the propeller is stopped and sails 

alone are used. While the whale is still a long way off, 

a boat is lowered to begin the actual hunt. Oars must 



not be used ; It must be propelled by sails only. The 
little boat is steered direct to the huge monster, the 
harpooner standing in the bows ready to throw his 
harpoon. Shooting is out of the question, as a shot 
would scare away all the whales for miles around. Tonite 
is used as an explosive. If the whale is not killed by 
the first throw, he darts off madly, and ample rope must 
be given him if the harpooners are to follow him, just as 
in hunting the bottle-nosed whale between Jan Mayen 
and the Faroes. If there is ice in the fairway, the 
hunters must be on the alert. If it becomes necessary 
to cut the harpoon line, this means an absolute loss of 
something like ^i,8oo. When killed, the whale is 
towed to the vessel. The head is cut off and taken on 
board, and the carcass is sent adrift. Then the whale- 
bone is taken out and the head is hove overboard. 

The first bowhead whale, Balena niysticetus, was caught 
in the Behring Sea in 1843. Five years later the first 
whaler passed through Behring Strait, and was soon 
followed by many others. In 1905 the whaling fleet 
comprised fourteen vessels, all, except the " Bonanza," 
being fitted with auxiliary engine power. This year, 
the brig "Jeannette" scored the largest catch, eleven 
whales. For sixty years this trade has been carried on 
at enormous profits, but attended by grave perils and by 
the loss of many a life. All these lives and all this 
property are risked year by year to supply the markets 
of the world with the whalebone of the bowhead whale. 
I inquired what this costly material is used for, and I 

VOL. II. 257 S 

Chapter XIII. 

learned that it is chiefly used for the manufacture of 
corsets. A ladyHke figure is an expensive thing ; but 
I think that, after my experience as a Polar resident, I 
would vote in favour of dress reform. 

In spite of the early morning hour, all the Eskimo in 
the harbour were astir. After the departure of the 
whaling fleet, we were the only " lions " in the place, and 


were treated with the greatest deference. After some 
hours' sleep, we went up to the highest point of the 
island to survey the ice conditions. There was much 
ice lying to the westward. Along the coast there was an 
open channel in the ice, but it was impossible for us to 
judge from where we stood whether it was wide enough 

for us. At any rate, it would be a great advantage to get 



into the open channel, so as to be in a position to make 
the most of any opportunity that might present itself. 
The only means of access to the open channel was the 
narrow sound between the island and the coast. We 
had heard many contradictory reports as to the depth of 
the sound, but, to make certain. Lieutenant Hansen 
went out into the sound, accompanied by Hansen, the 
Doctor, and Foss, with an Eskimo to act as pilot. This 
pilot did not prove to be of much use. Each time he 
took soundings and found the water shallow he simply 
called out, "Water very small!" which was intelligible 
enough, but afforded little information to those abaft. 
The results of the examination showed that the bottom 
was very unequal. Even if it were possible to thread 
one's way by twists and turns along a navigable channel, 
it would, after all, be too risky, and we decided to bide 
our time. On the way back, the party met a number of 
Eskimo who had had good hauls in fishing, and we 
bought a large quantity of fresh fish from them. 

We now arranged that one of us should go every day 
up to the highest point of the island to inspect the ice 
conditions. The highest point lay quite over to the 
west of the island, a stiff walk of close on two and a half 
miles, over very difficult ground. But, as for the vegeta- 
tion on this island, King Point was a desert compared 
to it. It was, so to speak, carpeted with flowers, and 
Lindstrom was in clover. Early and late he might be 
seen with his o-reen botanical collecting-box on his back, 

and he always brought some rare specimens home. The 

259 s 2 

Chapter XIII. 

richest flora was found at the back of the cemetery. 
The burial-place on Herschel Island was divided into 
two parts : one for whale hunters and one for Eskimo. 
The whale hunters' graves were all well kept and adorned 
with painted crosses. But the Eskimo's presented a 
most remarkable appearance. It was as if a tradesman 
kept his store of goods there, for the Eskimo put their 
dead into ordinary wooden boxes and deposit them in 


rows on the bare ground. Only very few had placed 

these boxes on wooden trestles ; the majority lay on the 

ground. I could not help wondering how they were able 

to identify the remains of those dear to them. 

When the whale hunters arrived at the island it was 

inhabited by about 500 Kagmallik Eskimo ; now there 

are only very few, and the great majority of these are 

a mixed race. They live in small wooden huts ; very 



unhealthy as far as I could judge. Besides, there are 
a number of large storage sheds and small depots. The 
former missionary's house is now occupied by Major 
Howard and his staff This man has the by no means 
liofht task of maintaining" order amongf some hundreds 
with only one man under him. He also has to collect 

whalers' graves at herschel island. 

duty from the Americans who, of course, are on Canadian 

territory here. 

Manni went out assiduously to shoot ducks ; these are 

to be found in large numbers. I forbade him to go 

inland as I did not care to have him infected with any 

of the Eskimo's various diseases with which civilisation 

had gifted them. For instance, syphilis was very 


Chapter XI 1 1. 

prevalent among them. But what strikes the stranger 
most is the rising generation here. They bear the stamp 
of a very varied admixture of races ; a pure Eskimo 
type is exceedingly rare among them. The children 
differ greatly, not only in facial type, but also in their 
dress ; for instance, I saw a litde girl with a red frock, 
black shoes, and a "baby hat," which suited her 


admirably. Surely she was not an Eskimo ? Then the 

mother came upon the scene, and, though not a full-bred 

Eskimo, she was certainly a half-breed. The child was 

the third generation of race admixture. The mixture of 

Eskimo and negfro has a most ludicrous effect. I cannot 

find a name for the specimen I saw, but it was exceedingly 


The Eskimo on Herschel Island have grown so accus- 




tomed to white men's food that if they cannot obtain it 
they deem it a great hardship. If the flour supply 
runs short they feel the want of it very severely, and 
this year even the white men have been so badly off in 
this respect that there has been little to spare for the 
Eskimo. Just at the time I refer to the poor people 
were waiting the arrival of the tender of the whaling 
fleet, which was to bring food for all. The tender did 
not get further than Point Barrow, where the whalers 
met her and collected the supplies ordered ; so the 
Eskimo were bitterly disappointed this autumn. 

Although the missionary was away, religious services 
were held every Sunday. An old chief named Tomach- 
sina conducted the service and Dr. Wight played the 

Here we came across the first veoetables of this reo"ion, 
" Kagmallik Potatoes " as the whale hunters called 
them. These are the roots of Polygomtm bistorta, and 
do not taste badly, either raw or cooked. In the Eskimo 
language they are called " masku " ; they resemble carrots 
with a skin like a potato, and have a slightly sweetish 
taste. The Eskimo a-athered sackfuls of them and sold 
them to us. 

On July 20th the wind was north-easterly, and all the 
whale hunters had told us this was the most favourable 
wind for driving the ice away from the land. It soon 
increased to a gale. But the daily look-out returned and 
reported that the ice was closer in than ever. On the 

2 1 St I rowed ashore with Ristvedt, Lund, and the Doctor 


Chapter XIII. 

to see whether this wind had in fact produced any effect 
on the ice. We proposed to row a couple of miles along 
the east coast so as to find an easier ascent to the top. 
While on our way we met Manni, who had started out 
after breakfast, and we called out to him something or 
other, I do not remember what. We pulled the boat up 
on to the landing place and went up to our look-out. 
The ice looked promising ; the north-east wind had 
begun to take effect. As we were approaching the boat 
on our way back, Lund suddenly exclaimed : "I think 
they have hoisted the flag on board. What can it mean ? 
But they have not hoisted it right up to the top ! " The 
telescope was brouo"ht out and we saw that the flao- was 
half-mast high on the " Gjoa." There can be no more 
unpleasant sight than a flag at half-mast. We tried to 
console ourselves with the idea that possibly it referred to 
one of our Eskimo friends on shore. Yet we could not 
feel assured on this point. I at once thought of Manni, 
and I believe the others did also. We flew down the 
slope, left our boat there and made our way overland till 
we were just off^ our ship. We had already been 
observed and were taken aboard by a boat sent for us. 
We were right, it was Manni. He was drowned. 

When we got aboard, the Lieutenant told me that 
while he was standinof on deck talkingf to one of the lads, 
he saw Manni standing upright in his little boat, taking 
aim at a bevy of ducks. They were so much accustomed 
to seeing him under similar conditions that they took no 
particular notice of him. But a moment after when they 



looked that way, the boat was empty and water was 
spouting up from the sea by its side. Manni had fallen 
overboard. Ouick as liofhtnina- Hansen and Foss were 
into another of the ship's boats, while the Lieutenant flew 

MANNI (summer, I906). 

up to the crow's nest to direct their movements. Barely 
five minutes could have elapsed when the boat reached 
the spot. But Manni had disappeared. The canvas boat 

was lying upright on her keel, full of water. The oars 


Chapter XIII. 

were drifting on the sea but the lad and his gun were 
gone. A heavy wave had struck the boat as he stood 
upright in her looking after the birds, and he had fallen 
overboard. He never rose again. Another sad illustra- 
tion of the unfortunate fact that none of the Eskimo ever 
learnt swimming. I at once reported the misfortune to 
the Chief of the Police and asked him to provide for the 
funeral, if the body should drift ashore. But the Eskimo 
thought Manni's body would never be found as the 
current would carry it out to sea. It was a heavy blow 
to all of us to lose Manni under these sad circumstances, 
We had all become fond of him and were very anxious to 
take him with us to civilised regions and see what we 
could make of him there. 

Next day I was again on our look-out. It seemed as 
if the ice was steadily continuing to recede to the west. 
But, after all, it might only be the same bay from which 
we had been obliged to return. As long as the north- 
easter was blowing right into it, it might be risky for us 
to try to get ahead that way again, and after consultation 
with my comrades, I decided to wait till the wind lulled. 
On July 23rd, at i a.m., the wind dropped, and we at 
once got all clear for starting. The anchor was weighed. 
There was still a little wind in the north-east, but it was 
quite sluggish. We followed the ice, which extended in 
a continuous mass from the south-west point of Herschel 
Island towards the west alono- the mainland. Landward 
of this ice there was an open channel along the coast, 
and what we had to do was to try to find a way into this 



channel. There were several inlets extending- far into the 

ice. One of these extended to a distance of about fifteen 

miles from the harbour ; there was only a narrow belt of 

ice separating- it from the open channel off the coast, and 

it could not possibly be long before this barrier would be 

broken ; but for the present we could not get through 

that way, and we therefore continued our westward 

course. The edge of the ice soon began to bear off 

towards the north, but that was not the course we wished 

to take. We went on until we all realised that we had 

again been trying to get through a bay in the ice, 

another ci4l-de-sac. So at 1 1 p.m. on the 24th we had 

once more to turn back to Herschel Island, We had to 

beat our way up to the harbour against the north-east 

wind, and it took us a lon^ time to oet in. We old tars 

took this calmly enough, but the new hands were sorely 

disappointed. The Doctor, particularly, was in a state 

of nervous excitement. At last, at 2.30 a.m. on the 26th, 

we were again lying at our old anchorage. Immediately 

after breakfast the " look-out " went ashore. He returned 

later in the day and reported great changes for the worse. 

We were now expecting a regular storm to blow from the 

land, but it did not come. After noon we sent Hansen 

on a tour along the east coast of the island to look out for 

Manni's body. But he returned without success. 

Some of the bread Lindstrom had baked had got 

mouldy and had to be thrown overboard. The bread 

made with syrup kept well. Lindstrom was now the 

" Second Engineer," as also the Ship's Baker. Down 


Chapter XIII. 

in the engine-room we had fitted up quite a little bake- 
house, from which he supplied many French rolls and 
loaves. He had only one objection to establishing him- 
self altogether in the engine-room : the " First Engineer," 
Ristvedt, "was so unreasonably fond of cakes." 

On the 30th the first whaler entered the harbour. 
This was the bark " Belvedere," which had run short of 
food and fuel. On August ist the look-out reported very 
favourable ice conditions, and I decided to wei^jh anchor 
at once and make another attempt to get out of the ice. 
We were under weigh at 4.30 p.m., and an hour later were 
overtaken by the " Belvedere," which passed us to the 
west. She was anxious to push on ahead, as scurvy had 
broken out among the crew. We followed the border of 
the ice. At 9 p.m. on August 2nd we moored to the ice 
seven miles from the coast and ten miles from Demarca- 
tion Point. We took advantage of the time we were 
lying moored to procure a supply of fresh water, of which 
there was an abundance in a large deep pond that had 
formed on the ice. We lay there all through August 3rd, 
quite hemmed in by ice. It was our King's birthday, 
and we hoisted the flag in honour of the occasion. We 
celebrated the day with such festivities as we could afford 
to indulge in ; little more than a few extra beans in our 
coffee and a few currants in the wheat cake. We had 
nothing much else to make a feast with. But it may 
well be that our King did not enjoy his food any better 
on that day than we did, as we lay in the ice flying our 
flag in his honour. 



The next night was rather an anxious one. The ice 
began to press, but it did not come to anything serious. 
The rudder was forced up a Httle, but it was soon set 
right again. About 6.30 a.m. on August 4th, the ice- 
pressure slackened and we got free. There was a fog, 
and the wind was in the west ; the worst quarter we could 
have had it from. There was nothing left for us but to 
return to Herschel Island, and at 2.30 a.m. we lay, for 
the third time, at our old anchorage. The " Belvedere " 
had already returned, and knew just as much as 
we did, that ice was lying to the north-west. The 
schooner "Herman" had also arrived, and later, at 
night, the " Kaluk " arrived. The vessels began to 
collect, awaiting the arrival of the tender that was to 
bring fuel and provisions. During the two following 
days the barques "Treasure" and " Bowhead " came in, 
and now there were seven boats lying in the harbour. 
The whalers had decided to lie there till August loth. 
If the tender did not arrive by then, they intended going 
to Barrow Point to meet her. 

On August 9th the second mail from Edmonton and 

Fort McPherson arrived. It came by boat, and brought 

us the latest news. Of course, great sensation was caused 

by the news of the earthquake and fire in San Francisco. 

A Mr. Steffensen, who came with the mail, told us that a 

Danish expedition, under Mr. Mikkelsen, was on its way 

here, and that he was to join it. The object of the 

expedition was to search for land in the north. We were 

rejoicing in our intentions to search for land in the south. 


Chapter XII I. 

On the same day a gale sprang up from the north. 
At I P.M. the long-expected and anxiously awaited 
" Olofa " entered the harbour. She had wintered in 
Minto Inlet, in Prince Albert Land, where they had 
met some Eskimo. Probably these were Kilnermium 
Eskimo, from the Coppermine River, of the same tribe 
that Hansen and Ristvedt had met on their sledging 
expedition in 1905. The "Olga" had lost several of 
her crew, and it was particularly unfortunate that both 
engineers had died, so that the crew could not get their 
engine to work. They had to depend entirely on their 
sails. The crew were two whole days out in their com- 
putation of time. They had seen a large number of 
whales, but were too few in number to make any catches. 
At 7 P.M. the " Bowhead " set out to find some of these 
numerous whales. 

The north-east wind was still blowing fresh next day, 
and, being rather tired of Herschel, I decided to run 
into our old bay in the ice, to see whether the long- 
continued north-east wind had not opened a way for us 
through the narrow strip of ice we had observed on the 
previous occasion. After taking on board a large supply 
of driftwood, which the Eskimo, Manichya, had collected 
for us, we weighed anchor and ran out. A strong current 
to the west carried us out quickly. We held to the 
south-west all day long, in the hazy atmosphere, without 
being able to get a full view across the ice. At night the 
fog set in, thick as a wall. We very soon got from twelve 

fathoms into seven and a half fathoms, and thought we 



were not far from land. We found some ice here, lying 
fast to the shallow bottom, and we moored to it to await 
clear weather. We estimated that we were about two 
miles from land. Next mornino- we had to shift our 


mooring to some other ice, as that to which we had been 
moored had got afloat and was drifting away. At 6 p.m. 
the foo- lifted and revealed a g-laddenino- sio;ht. We had 
got into the open channel along the coast, and had a clear 
course to the west as far as we could see. To the north 
the ice was still lying heavy and close. We therefore 
started the engine and got under way. It looked now as 
if the evil spell was at last broken. The open channel 
was at first very narrow, but became wider on the follow- 
ing day. However, the fog was so thick that we could 
not see much. A slight north-westerly breeze compelled 
us to tack, the engine not being powerful enough to make 
headway right in the teeth of the wind. Otherwise, it 
was just under such conditions that the engine did excel- 
lent service. If we had had to depend on the sails alone 
while beating up this narrow channel, filled with ice, and 
with a sluggish breeze, it would have taken us a wretchedly 
lonQT time. When we were in danger of beino- caught in 
the ice, and everything depended on our rushing ahead 
in front of it, the engine was of the greatest assistance. 
And as this sort of thing happened continually, we were 
indebted to the engine for saving us much loss of time. 

Off Icy Reef we repeatedly neared the shore and 
observed a laro-e brio;ht white surface, which looked like 
a lagoon or lake, but it could not be that, as the ice 

VOL. II. 273 T 

Chapter XIII. 

upon it would have melted ere now. It must have been 
the glacier near Icy Reef, of which we had heard on 
Herschel Island from a man who came from Camden 
Bay to buy provisions. It was not large, but, as far as 
we saw, it was the only one on the whole north coast. 
Moreover, the fairway around Icy Reef is full of ice- 
blocks and fragments of fresh ice. However, we had 
no time to go ashore and investigate the phenomenon. 

On the 14th, at 10 a.m., we passed Manning Point, 
which is visited by many Eskimo. We observed there, 
in fact, a number of huts and stacks of driftwood, but 
no living soul. During the afternoon watch the ice was 
constantly forcing us towards the south. I did not like 
this, because Collinson describes Camden Bay, where 
we thought we were at present, as being shallow 
and foul. In fact, we got into two or three fathoms 
of water there, but soon found ourselves out in open 
water again and able to go further over towards the 
north, where the water deepened quickly. At night the 
north-easterly breeze increased to a gale, so that we had 
to reef sails. Owing to the fog, the stiff gale, and more 
particularly to our uncertainty as to our actual where- 
abouts, I decided to go up to some ground ice and await 
further events. Suddenly land came in sight right ahead 
of us ; we thought it was the Flaxman Islands, but,, 
of course, we could not be certain. 

The work on board was sometimes rather varied,, 
there being so few hands. This evening, for instance, 
Lindstrom had to make the meteorological observations,, 



take soundings, bake bread, and attend the engine. All 
the others were equally hard-worked, each in his own 
way. It is certain that our voyage would never have 
been accomplished had the men not been tractable and 
willing. In difficult situations we shared trouble and 
hardships in brotherly unity, and all rejoiced with one 
heart when difficulties were surmounted. 

The ice to which we had moored was, in fact, pack-ice. 
It was full of large old hummocks, showing that it had 
not always been so still and quiescent as now. It 
appeared to me to be less in bulk and presumably newer 
than the ice off Greenland. 

All the following day w^e lay still, owing to the fog. 
When it parted for a moment the Lieutenant at once 
took our bearings and found that we were actually lying 
three nautical miles north of Flaxman Islands, Next 
morning the wind lulled, and the fog cleared sufficiently 
to enable us to see each other. We then cast off, and 
went cautiously ahead under small sail and engine-power. 
We proceeded four nautical miles, constantly taking 
soundings. The ice was very manageable, and we made 
good progress. At 4 p.m. we passed one of the many 
small sand-banks lying along the coast. At 5 p.m. the 
ice became impracticable toward the west, and I decided 
to seek a passage inside the nearest bank. According 
to what the whalers told us, we should find sufficient 
depth. But the difficulty was to get through to the inner 
side. The whalers had told us we could find a way 
in between some of the banks, but in the fog it was 

275 T 2 

Chapter XIII. 

quite impossible to distinguish one sandbank from 

another, so we were obliged to feel our way cautiously. 

We made everything clear to drop anchor rapidly, 

should it become necessary, and set our course inward. 

The bottom began to shallow up, and when we found 

nine feet of water we dropped anchor, so that we might 

explore in a small boat. Our soundings showed that 

this inlet was blocked. From the masthead I saw 

another inlet, and this was passable with a minimum 

depth of three and a quarter fathoms. Inside the banks 

we found quite open water, as the sandbanks prevented 

the ice from getting in. 

At 5 A.M. we had Cross Island on our beam, where 

a cross had been raised as a landmark. At 9 a.m. we 

found ourselves in deeper water, from five to seven 

fathoms, and therefore M^ere evidently out in the open 

sea again. We had gained a good deal by thus passing 

inside the belt of outlying banks ; the ice on the outside 

might have detained us a long time. The waters about 

here are notorious for large accumulations of ice. The 

fog lifted very rarely. At noon we were right off one 

of the Thetis Islands, but could not very well tell which. 

To the west of the outlying banks the sea was clear and 

free from ice. Off Harrison Bay we again encountered 

ice, and were compelled to bear to the south. In the 

course of the night we travelled across the bay, and 

found we were in the " Pacific Shoal," with two and three 

quarters fathoms of water, under the lee of Cape 

Halkett. The ice lay close all the way and compelled 



us to keep very near in shore. In passing Smith Bay 
we had to keep to the inside, as, in fact, we had been 
compelled to do in passing all the other bays. The 
whalers had not sailed Smith Bay. We found it clear, 
and with an even bottom. The least depth we found 
was off Cape Halkett, but further in the bay, and to the 
westward, we found four and five fathoms. At 6 p.m. 
we sighted Cape Simpson and had thus got across the 
bay. The ice seemed to lie right up to the shore at the 
Cape ; the whole east side was also filled with ice, but on 
the shoreward side there was an open channel, wide 
enough to admit us. We tried to enter it, but had to 
turn back as the water suddenly became very shallow, 
and we then made fast to some ground ice. However, 
we could only find a very small mass of ice to moor to, 
and the position was rather dangerous. The wind kept 
in the east all night, but the next day there seemed to 
have been a grreat chang-e in the ice. We now made 
another attempt to get into the open channel along the 
shore, but an abrupt shallowing up from two to one and 
a-half fathoms induced us to retire with all possible 
speed. The ice on the seaward side was closely packed 
and again we had to make fast to the ground ice, which 
this time was very small, and the " Gjoa " had very little 
to depend on. At night the easterly wind freshened to 
a stiff gale. The ice lying to windward of us, which had 
been protecting us from the sea, now drifted away, leaving 
our little piece of ground ice at the mercy of the heavy 

rolling sea. The sky was overcast, it was dark as 


Chapter XIII. 

night, and the sea poured in a stream across the surface 
of the ice. At the same time a large quantity of loose 
ice got adrift, some of it floating towards the ground ice 
and some of it towards the boat. We endeavoured to 
ward off the shocks of its impact as far as possible by 
means of boat-hooks. Luckily we had got both ice 
anchors out, and they were needed. There was a great 
probability of the ground ice, to which we were moored, 
breaking up, and we were ready to drop the anchors at 
once should this happen. But in the darkness of the 
night it was not easy to keep the chains from being 
fouled by the drifting masses of ice. At last the day 
broke, and rarely have we welcomed daylight with greater 
joy and relief than we did after this terrible night. But 
before we could quit our unpleasant surroundings we had 
to get the ice anchors loose, and it needed a brave and 
active man to manage this on the small ice-floe to which 
the anchors were fixed, I selected Helmer Hansen for 
the work. He knew no fear, and was as nimble as 
a squirrel ; as a rule he did at the first attempt what 
others could not do till the second. True, he did not 
get back with a dry skin, but Hansen had had a drenching 
before, and did not mind it much. 

The east wind had worked great changes in the ice ; 
we got up to within three fathoms of its edge and followed 
it. There were hummocks of considerable height on a 
shoal three miles from Cape Simpson. As the weather 
was still very hazy and the gale was stiffening to a 

hurricane, we souoht shelter in the lee of some o-round 



ice close by, and made fast to it. Nothing is more risky 
than to let the vessel lie near ice which cannot be over- 
looked ; it is easy to get caught in a bay inside a mass of 
ice without any outlet, and so have a chance of an 
involuntary trip to the North Pole. And on these 
borders of the Arctic Ocean the risk is greater than 
anywhere else. The current that Nansen so splendidly 
utilised, the current that has carried hundreds of American 
vessels northwards, and in 1879 carried away the 
" Jeannette," under De Long, runs strongest near Point 
Barrow, and sets towards the north-east, sometimes with 
almost torrential rapidity. 

While we were working up against the ice we were 
unfortunate enough to strike one of the propeller blades 
against a projecting piece. The engine stopped abruptly, 
and, notwithstanding all efforts on the part of the 
engineers, we could not get it to work. The propeller 
blades were not damaged but the shaft had got warped. 
We took the matter quietly and soothed our anger by 
the consoling reflection that it might have happened 
to us very much earlier. The ground ice to which 
we now made fast was large and safe, and we were 
protected against any contingency. We were just out- 
side Fatigue Bay. During the night the ice pressed 
closely ; at times it was firmly packed, at others it was 
loose. The wind lulled, and at 6 a.m. we cast off and 
proceeded westward. Heavy masses of ice drifted past 
us and we had to dodge between them. While the 
mainsail was beino- set, the oaff broke and we were in a 


Chapter XIII. 

very awkward predicament, no engine and no sail ; in 
fact, without the mainsail the vessel was incapable of 
manoeuvring. We put the trysail up, and we got on 
pretty well, running before the wind. An hour later the 
gaff was spliced and the mainsail set again. Now we 
went smartly ahead to the west among scattered ice, but 
I did not like seeing so much ice between us and the 
shore. About noon the ice closed in so much that we 
made scarely any further progress to speak of We came 
to some ice which we thought was frozen to the bottom, 
and made fast to it. The weather continued foggy. As 
our moorings appeared to be drifting westwards, we were 
compelled to get disengaged. At 2 p.m. the fog lifted 
and we sighted the mastheads of two ships beyond a long 
low point of the coast. This point must have been Cape 
Barrow. The vessels were lying to leeward on the west 
side, waiting for a chance to get ahead. The drift ice 
separating us from the open channel along the coast began 
to get looser, and we decided to force our way through. 
The prospect of getting into communication with the 
vessels was a further inducement. At 3 p.m. we headed 
towards a much looser pack of ice ; we cast off and with 
all sail, made straight for the loosest part. I had sent up 
Lund, the most experienced of us all, into the crow's- 
nest. Now that we were entirely dependent on our sails, 
the presence of experienced and tried whale-hunters on 
board was of inestimable value. To manoeuvre a sailinof 
ship in closely packed ice requires many years' experience ; 

anyone can make headway with a steamer. Luckily we 



had a small stretch of open water in front of us, so that 
we had got up some speed before we came up to the ice. 
The " Gjoa " struck it with a heavy thud, turning every- 
thing on deck topsy-turvy, but her bow parted the ice. 
We all worked franctically with boathooks to clear the ice 
away as well as we could, and the boat pressed forwards 
under full sail. Thus we forced our way ahead, inch by 
inch until there was very little left of it. The ship then 
took a fresh start for the last assault ; it seemed as if the 
old " Gjoa " knew she had reached a critical moment. 
She had to tackle two large masses of ice that barred her 
way to the North West Passage ; and now she charged 
again into them to force them asunder and slip through. 
The lads attacked the ice on both sides with boathooks, 
a tough desperate fight. The ice yielded a fraction of an 
inch at a time, but at last it gave way. A wild shout of 
triumph broke forth when the vessel slipped through. 
The barrier was broken, we were out in open waters, with 
a clear homeward track before us. 

With joy beaming on our faces we headed westward in 
the open channel, under full sail. We were now gradually 
getting into the track of the ships we had sighted, which 
meant news from home, from our dear ones, and from the 
outer world. We knew that on board those ships letters 
awaited us. Bank after bank lay along the coast, forming 
large lagoons. At 6.30 p.m. a thick misty rain come on, 
entirely obscuring our view. Again we had to lie up 
ag-ainst some ice. An hour later, it crot liehter aoain and 

*-> '000 

we now saw the mastheads of five vessels. It did not 


Chapter XIII. 

take us lono- to oet under sail asfain, and we were soon 
well under way. Luckily the wind had kept in the north- 
east all the time, so that we had not felt the want of our 
engine. There was plenty of water ; the shallowest 
sounding being two and a-half fathoms. At lo p.m. we 
rounded Barrow Point, the north-west point of America. 
It was late at night, yet we thought we really must hoist 
our fiaof, and we did so. 

The ships had already sighted us, as a boat was coming 
towards. It was Einar Mikkelsen, the leader of the 
Anglo - American Polar Expedition. His ship, the 
" Duchess of Bedford," was lying here waiting for a 
favourable wind, to take her eastward. We ran close 
inshore and anchored. What with steam sirens going 
and flags saluting, there was plenty of stir and excite- 
ment. The " Harold Dollars," the tender of the whaling 
fleet, and the schooner " Monterey " came up to us, and 
greetings and congratulations poured in. The tender had 
been lying here a long time and had given up all idea of 
going any further, which under the circumstances was not 
to be wondered at. The " Monterey " was one of the two 
vessels that had managed to slip out through the ice 
before the autumn. Her crew was now whaling, and did 
not trouble about eastward regions. A steam launch 
from the American Revenue cutter " Thetis," lying two 
miles off, came and brought further visitors. Subse- 
quently I went aboard the tender to inquire after the mail. 
Whom should I meet there but my old friend, Mogg, my 

travelling companion in Alaska. He was ice pilot on 



board. A large parcel of letters and a present of apples 
and cigars were the welcome reward awaiting me. No 
one on board the " Gjoa " turned in very early that night. 
All the letters had to be read and all the news discussed. 
Every one of us had good news from home. 

The first thing we had to attend to now was to procure 
material for repairing our gaff ; the last repair was merely 
temporary. Next morning I procured four good planks 
from the tender, and we at once set to work to mend the 
oraff ; it did not take us loner. But when it was finished, 
with all its lashings, it certainly presented a rather 
patched-up appearance. It was so big that I was almost 
afraid our winch would not be able to work it. I was on 
board the tender again at night, and bought from the 
amiable Captain a quantity of provisions and other things 
to cheer us during the remainder of our time on board : 
fruit, cigars, and a quantity of American canned goods, 
which we highly appreciated. When I got on board the 
" Gjoa" again, a heavy ice-fioe had drifted on to us, and 
was pressing against our chain. We managed to weigh 
anchor, set sail, and oet clear. Beino- under sail, we 
thought we might as well proceed on our voyage at once, 
and, doubtless to the surprise of the other vessels, we 
sailed away to the west. The " Treasure " and 
" Karluk " were just coming in from Herschel Island. 
At II P.M. we passed the "Thetis," making for the 
other vessels, to maintain order. Of course, we ran 
up our flag, always pleased to exchange becoming- 
courtesies with other vessels. But the commander of 


Chapter XI 1 1. 

the " Thetis " thought otherwise ; the American flag 
was not hoisted. 

The breeze from the north-east still continued, but it 
was very slack. We had a few squalls with rain. Off 
Cape Belcher we bade a last good-bye to the ice ; it was 
lying about in small floes. From that time we saw no 
further trace of it. I was quite prepared to find that we 
had sprung a leak in our last encounter with the ice ; 
but, on the contrary, the boat was tighter than ever. 
Instead of two hundred strokes of the pump in one watch, 
we now needed barely forty. But the old leakage 
reappeared soon after. 

On August 24th we were becalmed for the first time. 
So long as we had a good wind, it was easy enough to 
pretend we could do just as well without an engine ; but 
things were different now, and, unable to restrain our 
annoyance, we vented it on the engineer. " Now then, 
Smith, why haven't you got the ' coffee-mill ' going ? " 
Jeers and jibes poured down through the engine-room 
skylight on the heads of the unfortunate engineers, who 
were perspiring in their efforts to repair the defect, if 

Since we left the Greenland coast we had never seen 
a walrus ; here we saw several, but never any consider- 
able number of them. The temperature rose daily as 
we proceeded southward, and we much enjoyed the 
change. However ardent a Polar explorer one may be, 
it would be futile to deny that a genial temperature is 

very agreeable after having been deprived of it for some 



time. Now and then we saw some sea-fowl — auks and 
others — emerofing- from the waves. Even the sioht of a 
jelly-fish was hailed with joy, this being another sign that 
we had reached milder regions. 

On August 30th, at 1 1 A.M., we sighted Cape Prince 
of Wales. This marks the eastern entrance to Behring 
Strait. But, as the summit was shrouded in fog, we 
could not be sure whether this was the point. From this 
cape a long, narrow sand-bank extends twenty-five miles 
to the northward. There is deep water on both sides, so 
that it is not easy to determine by soundings on which 
side of the vessel the sand-bank is situated. Unless we 
were lucky, we might easily get between the shoal and 
the shore, and in that case our position might become 
rather serious under existing conditions. There was a 
high sea running, with a succession of squalls, and the 
" Gjoa " pitched heavily. To be on the safe side we 
steered for the open sea as soon as we sighted land. At 
1.30 P.M. the weather cleared, and we sighted Fairway 
Rock, a peculiar hayrick-shaped rock, rising sheer out 
of the sea. We could not have had a better landmark, 
and we were now able to get into our course again. 
When we got down into the Strait, we caught a slight 
glimpse of the Diomedes Islands. These look barren 
and inhospitable, yet they are the abode of a whole 
Eskimo tribe, who are all, both men and women, very 
popular with the whalers. There is no harbour there, 
but when going north the whalers always call in to 

barter for various supplies. They are also glad to 


Chapter XIII. 

engage Eskimo from there, as they are considered able 


As we passed between the islands and the shore, we 
" old hands " gathered on deck and drank the first cup 























to celebrate the final accomplishment of the North West 
Passage by ship. I had hoped to have a little festivity 
to mark this notable event, but weather did not permit. 
The event was celebrated by a simple toast, nothing 
more. We could not even hoist the flagf, as it would 
have been quickly blown to tatters. 

I had intended to reach Cape York before it was dark, 
and lie there for the night, but we did not get so far. 

We lay about ten miles off Cape York with double- 
reefed mainsail, reefed forestaysail and standing jib. 
Cape Prince of Wales sheltered us to a great extent from 
the seas. When we shook out the reefs at daybreak our 
gaff broke. This time it was the great weight of the 
gaff itself which was the main cause of the catastrophe. 
Our only hope now was that the wind would hold out 
till we reached Nome, and could procure a new gaff. 
The old one was beyond repair. We headed south 
towards Nome under trysail and any other sails we 
could carry. Originally, I had no intention of calling 
at Nome, but after the accident with the gaff we had no 
choice. I had received a letter at Point Barrow inviting 
us to call in on our way south and accept the hospitality 
of the town of Nome. This suited us well now. We 
took the shortest route, passing eastward along the Nome 
coast : during the afternoon the wind gradually lulled 
down to a faint breeze, and we made very little headway. 

" Well, Lund," I said, as I was sauntering on deck 
that beautiful afternoon, " you are equal to any emergency, 
can't you get the mainsail set ? " This was too much 

VOL. n. 291 U 2 

Chapter XIII. 

for Lund's pride, and soon after that the mainsail was 
up. The " Gjoa " did not look quite as trim as a 
pleasure yacht, but, at any rate, we travelled a good 
deal faster, and ran ahead smartly before the light 
breeze. The houses in Nome were soon visible on the 
horizon ; if the breeze would only last another hour, we 
should be there. But fate had decreed it otherwise, and 
a dead calm set in. They ought to be able to see us from 
the town now, so we hoisted our flag. An occasional 
slight puff of wind carried us a little way ahead, but it 
did not amount to much. As daylight faded, w^e saw 
that the lamps were being lighted in the town, and our 
position was a very tedious one. Suddenly a steam 
launch appeared in front of us, and we heard whistling, 
shouting, and cheering, — the American's mode of express- 
ing enthusiasm. Dark as it was, we could still discern 
the Norwegian flag floating side by side with the Stars 
and Stripes on the launch. So we had been recognised. 
The reception they gave us at Nome defies my powers 
of description. The heartiness with which we were 
welcomed, the unbounded enthusiasm of which the 
" Gjoa " was the object, will always remain one of my 
brightest memories of our return. Nome has no harbour ; 
it lies on the open coast. We were, therefore, obliged 
to anchor well off the shore, and keep ready to weigh 
anchor as soon as the wind rose. After we had anchored, 
Lieutenant Hansen and I went aboard the launch to 
greet our amiable hosts and hostesses, and we were taken 

ashore. An electric searchlight on the shore played on 



the boat all the time. As we approached the shore, we 
were so dazzled by the powerful light shining right into 
our eyes that we could not see anything. The boat 
touched land. I really cannot say how I got ashore, 
but a jubilant roar of welcome issued from a thousand 
throats, and through the darkness of the night a sound 
burst forth that thrilled me through and through, bring- 
ing tears to my eyes ; it was the strains of our national 

air — 

" Ja vi elsker dette landet." 
(Yea, we cherish this our country.) 



Towards King Haakon VI Ps Land. 

By First Lieutenant Godfred Hansen, Vice-Commander 
of the Expedition. 


While sailing through the narrow, shallow straits of the 
North West Passage we were all fully occupied with 
the navigation of the ship in the strictest acceptance of 
the word, consequently the cartographical work under- 
taken during the " Gjoa " Expedition was carried out on 
sledge and boat trips, some of which it fell to my lot to 

The most important were : — 

1. A sledge trip to Point Richardson on the American 
mainland in March, 1904, on which we discovered two 
islands in Simpson Strait which were called after 
Commander A. P. Hovgaard, The trip lasted ten days, 
and my companion, Ristvedt, and I had to draw the 
sledge ourselves, because the dogs which had been 
spared by the dog sickness were away on a sledge trip 
with Captain Amundsen. 

2. A boat trip westwards to Cape Crozier. The 

object was to investigate the conditions in the narrow 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

parts of Simpson Strait with reference to the passage of 
the " Gjoa " during- the next summer, and at the same 
time to take a depot of pemmican and dog's food of 
about 500 lbs. out to Cape Crozier. The trip lasted 
from August 6th to the middle of September, 1904. 
Hansen accompanied me and sailed the boat. 

On the way we found some skulls and bones of two 
white men. They were lying scattered over the low 
foreshore at Point C. F. Hall, and had been placed by 
this Arctic explorer under a stone cairn. Close by we 
found the stone on which he had cut the words 
" Eternal Honour to the Discoverers of the North- West 
Passage." We collected the bones together again and 
covered them over with stones, on the top of which we 
placed Hall's stone. 

3. A sledge trip in the spring of 1905 to Victoria 
Land, and along its unknown east coast. 

In what follows I shall endeavour to describe this 
trip more in detail. Ristvedt accompanied me. I owe 
a good deal to his equanimity, his constant good humour, 
his indomitable energy, as well as to his excellent 

Before starting I drew up the following report for 
Captain Amundsen : — 

To the Chief of the Norwegian "Gjoa" Expedition. 

I beg to inform you of the preparations for the sledge 
trip ordered by you for charting the unknown western 

stretch of coast along M'Clintock Channel. 



The Expedition consists of two men with two sledges 
and twelve dogs. 

The stores for the men have been determined mainly 
in accordance with your normal list, and are as follows : — 

Normal list for daily consumption per man — 

Margarine . 
Bread . 
Pemmican . 
Green stuffs . 
Pea flour 
Dried bilberries 
Sugar . 
Salt and pepper 




. ^5 



The list of provisions for two men for seventy days will therefore be 
as follows : — 

Margarine ....... 4 

Chocolate . 
Bread . 
Pemmican . 
Green stuffs . 
Pea flour 
Dried bilberries 
Sugar . 

Coff'ee . . ■ 
Salt and pepper 











Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

The depot established in the summer of 1904 on Cape 
Crozier consists of : — 

100 kilos, of fish and suet melted together, and 
130 kilos, of pemmican for dog's food. 

If the journey from Gjoahavn, Ogchoktu, to Cape 
Crozier takes seven days, and a depot of stores sufficient 
for seven days is left there for the return journey, we get 
supplies sufficient for fifty-five days. 

If the Cape Crozier depot is destroyed, then we can 
only continue for thirty-four days from that point, but in 
that case it will be necessary to kill four dogs. 

The itinerary is as follows : — 

The Expedition will be ready to start on April ist. We 
shall work along Simpson Strait to Cape Crozier where a 
report will be deposited ; thence the course will be due 
east towards the highest island in the group marked 
" land seen by Rae." This group of islands will be sur- 
veyed and the course shaped due north over Driftwood 
Point, Cape Alfred and Pelly Point, to Collinson's 
Farthest, and from thence out into the unknown towards 
Glenelg Bay. The distance as the crow flies is about 
850 miles, so that the Expedition may be expected back 
in Gjoahavn at the beginning of June. 

If, on the return trip, Victoria Strait should be impass- 
able, or should there be any other obstacle to prevent the 
Expedition reaching Ogchoktu by July 15th at the 
latest, we shall work down towards Cape Colborne 

(Dease Strait) which is said by Collinson to be low and 



sandy, A cairn will then be erected at some visible 
spot. ' , 

Then followed a review of the survey work carried out 
up to that time, as it was by no means so very certain 
that we should ever return. 

Our sledges were ready on April ist. Ristvedt's 
loaded with 500 lbs., mine with 450 lbs. I was to drive 
in front, as we thought it would be easier in that way to 
keep the rear dogs up to the scratch. We had iced the 
runners in the Eskimo fashion. But what with wind and 
snow the weather was too bad to start, so we postponed 
our departure till the next morning. 

April 2nd broke with good travelling weather. It was 
still blowing fresh and the atmosphere was very hazy, 
but the temperature was only down to about 25° Fahr. so 
that the little wind there was would only act on us hardy 
Arctic navigators like a breath of summer from the 
distant south. When the great feat of the day in these 
latitudes, indeed in any latitude I have ever been in, 
namely, getting up in the morning, was accomplished, I 
went up and looked out at the weather, and found it 
suitable enough to make a start. Then when Ristvedt 
came down, I said: "Well, so we are off to-day, eh?" 
Yes, as far as he was concerned there was nothing to 
prevent us starting at once. Of course, we knew we 
were leaving the flesh-pots, the warm bunks, the fire-side 
and bright lamp ; but now the winter was over we wanted 
some fresh air in our lungs, and some under our wings 
too. Both of us loved Nature, and we wanted to see 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

what we were made of when we should meet her out in 
her own kingdom, because she is not only seductively 
attractive, she is also cutting and severe. We were 
anxious to see if cold would dull our brains, want curb 
our energies, monotony deaden our senses, or whether, 
as we imagined, we should be the masters ; whether In 
fact, there was real manhood behind our own self- 
confidence. Now we were ready to start : the sledges 
were equipped as well as could be with our previous 
experience and with the aid of all the resources placed at 
our disposal by the main Expedition. 

When you are ready to start, when there is absolutely 
nothing further to do than to sit with your arms folded, 
if the departure has to be postponed, you are apt to get 
very impatient and restless at the delay. You keep 
getting up to look at the weather. If it is a little better, 
you ask yourself if you ought not to start ; the very 
human desire not to be outdone by others makes you 
think it strange that you don't make a start. Such 
a state of mind is by no means pleasant, so now that we 
had decided to go, it was like a load taken off our minds. 

Lindstrom's excellent coffee and reindeer steak were 
very tasty. We had had cake on the previous day, and 
Lindstrom was too sensible to give us cake again, " No," 
said he, "you have already had your farewell cake once, 
and you must make it do. Someone might always be 
making a pretence of starting next day." When break- 
fast was over we went out to harness up. Hansen and 
Wiik fetched the dogs and put them to the sledges. 



We two travellers were to be spared as much trouble as 
possible. Starting on such a protracted trip is not 
altogether a festive occasion. Your comrades are 
anxious to express their best wishes for the journey and 
a happy, return. They know what you are going to 
encounter, for they have all had a turn at it, and they 
show their goodwill up to the last moment by taking all 
the work on themselves, even that of starting the 
sledges. Unfortunately the ice fell off the runners as 
they loosened the sledges, the mild weather having 
rendered the ice covering too soft, so that it was torn off 
just as the sledges were twisted aside. This is called 
freeing the sledges. If the sledges stand still for a long 
time the under part of the runners freezes fast to the 
snow, so that the sledge driver has to turn the hind part 
of the sledge to one side or the other. It is very seldom 
possible to get the dogs to do this, it being often too 
heavy for them, and they won't put their shoulders to the 
wheel till they see that the sledge is free. 

We were now clear for starting. The sledge was put 
in commission ; that is to say, I fastened my Norwegian 
sledge flag at the back of the sledge over the cyclometer. 
Then I arranged the photographic apparatus, that those 
we were leaving could obtain a good snapshot of us. 
Yet another hand-shake all round, the last "good luck" 
from the Captain, and off we went with the dogs at a 
comfortable trot towards Fram Point. The first halt was 
made when we passed Fram Point and turned round 
behind Fram Hill, so that we could not be seen from the 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

ship. While we were resting- at Fram Point we saw 
Talurnakto come running as hard as his short leo-s would 


carry him. He^came up with an igloo knife, a parting 
gift from the Captain to Ristvedt. Igloo knives were 
made of the blades of some large carving knives, and 

VOL. 11. 305 . X 


were fastened to long, flat, wooden handles made by 
Hansen. We had only a few of them, and they were 
highly prized by the Eskimo, so it was necessary to keep 
them in reserve in case an opportunity occurred to buy 
any desirable object for the ethnological collection of the 
Expedition. We had had one each given to us, but 
Ristvedt had unfortunately lost his ; but now he had one 
presented to him for use on this trip, and Talurnakto 
went back with thanks and kind messages. Then a 
sharp pull on the sledges, a call to the dogs, and we 
started again along Petersen's B.ay, over towards Snadde 

When we reached this spot, Ristvedt's dogs were 
already fatigued, but it seemed to me too early to finish 
up the day's travelling. We had intended to pass the 
night at Svarteklid, in the igloo we had built on our 
observation journey in the month of February. We then 
drove down on the ice again, following the coast until we 
turned in over the land towards the northerly Kaorka 
Isthmus. On the top of this we turned round, and 
sighted the mast of the " Gjoa," like a plain black line 
on a grey background, grey clouds in the sky, grey haze 
in the atmosphere, so dimming the light that even the 
snow looked grey. With the glasses we could still see 
the flag waving from her top mast. Then we went 
further on, down the slope towards Kaorka Lake, and 
south along Black Hill slope, and it was not long before 
the dogs got scent of the igloos. This, I am thankful to 

say, put some life into them, which was welcome, as we 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

were rather tired of whipping and shouting, as we had 
been compelled to do, the whole day long ; but this 
renewed vigour had the sad result of overturning me 
twice with my load, and, as 500 lbs. are no small weight 
to lift, it was no wonder it made my back ache. The 
first time the sledge turned over, I was able to right it 
again by myself, but the second time Ristvedt had to 
help me ; and our trials and troubles for that day came 
to an end five minutes after we drove up in front of 
the igloo and stopped after a day's march of nine and 
a-half miles. My dogs were fresh and ready for new 
efforts, whilst Ristvedt's team was almost done up, but 
we hoped that they would be better with a little practice. 
When we stopped I made a pretty little speech. All 
we could afford was a little drop of rum, and in this we 
had to toast all that should be toasted on such an 
occasion. We drank to the man who sent us out on the 
trip, to our good comradeship in the times to come, to 
reaching our goal near '' Wynniat's (Collinson's) 
Farthest," to a happy return full of honour to the flag 
under which we travelled, and then the rum slid down 
our throats. Should anyone now ask me if I enjoyed it, 
I could confidently reply " Yes." Sledge driving on 
long journeys is not what one sees in pictures of Green- 
land, sitting in warm furs, and cracking the whip as the 
dogs fly like race horses. There is no such racing with 
the heavily loaded sledges necessary for such a long 
trip as ours. It is only on exceptionally good ice that 
one can even sit on the sledge at all, and at first one 

307 X 2 

" . . ■ Supplement. 

often has to be the beast of burden, especially on 
stretches of land covered with soft snow or rugged 
uneven ice. 

Although we had only covered nine and a-half miles, 
not a very long distance in itself, yet we were thoroughly 
tired out and hungry. The coffee in the morning and 
Lindstrom's reindeer steak was all we had had the whole 
day, so that our hunger was easily explained. Then 
we had the rum. We saw its gold-brown sheen in the 
silvery aluminium cup ; our hands lifted the cup, and we 
sniffed the spicy fragrance like a breath from a sunburnt 
southern plantation wafted over the barren ice plains. 
The cup reaches the mouth safely and surely, for an 
Arctic explorer's hand never shakes, and so it slides 
down, ice cold, refreshing, heating, and invigorating. 
You may turn up your teetotal noses, but I know how 
useful alcohol is at such a time. Let me tell you one 
thing ; I have known what it is to get up healthy and 
fresh in the morning and drive out with my sledge ; 
I have expanded my chest and felt the fresh air filling 
my lungs, felt the blood circulating in my veins, felt as 
if I had strength enough to run to the end of the world ; 
the beauty of the sun and sky, all Nature filled my 
soul with the most delightful sensation ; but when 
evening came I was a wreck, I had lost faith in my luck, 
I was dead tired, fagged in every limb, the brain 
benumbed, my only desire being to keep on till 
I dropped ; I shuddered at the thought of the effort to 

break loose from the monotonous toil in the traces, 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

to pitch the camp, although I knew from experience that 
the sleeping-bag was the remedy for all this. It is in 
such conditions I have found alcohol to be useful ; and, 
even when the tiredness and exhaustion are not quite 
so utter, the stimulating action on an exhausted man 
with an empty stomach is astonishing. The tent is 
pitched, the dogs are fed, and the food is boiling in half 
the time it would otherwise take ; one evades much of 
the effect of piercing wind and cold inseparably connected 
with the pitching of a camp when heated from the day's 
toil. When the reaction of the alcohol sets in you have 
been in your sleeping-bag some time, so that this reaction 
has almost the advantage of obviating the difficulty in 
getting to sleep owing to over-fatigue. 

On this particular occasion the pick-me-up had also 
the orood result of makino- us conduct ourselves like 
Christians, when we found that the gentleman who had 
used the igloo last had neglected to close it properly, 
so that a mass of snow had driven in. Under other 
circumstances our expressions would hardly have been 
so forbearing ; now we simply made a hole in the wall 
as the entrance was quite impassable, and some snow had 
penetrated the house itself ; but there was still sufficient 
room for a couple of sleeping bags. Then we got ready 
for the night, fed the dogs, crept into the house, and 
sealed up the entrance with blocks of snow. This we 
did with very great care, for experience had taught 
us what a quantity of cold can get in through a 
crevice not larger than a keyhole. The possibility 



of living in an igloo depends altogether on its being 


On April 4th we succeeded in covering a greater 

distance, 1 1 miles. Ristvedt, from his military training, 

had a theory that in field service it is always the second 

day's march that one feels the most, and this, indeed, 

seems to be correct, for the third day everything went 

much easier. We passed Point C. F. Hall, where some 

of Franklin's men lie buried, with our flag hoisted ; but 

we did not use the flag more than necessary, as the wind 

and weather would soon have turned it into a ragged 

trophy. It was also very inconvenient to carry it hoisted, 

as I always got the lash of my whip wound round the 

staff just at a critical moment ; but here we had to wave 

the flag, and this we repeated every time we passed the 

cairn. We never omitted this. Over this lonesome 

grave, on a stony headland in the remotest seas, a spirit 

of solemnity seems to hover. Once you have seen the 

stony beach with its little sea, the creek just below, and 

the low ridge of King William Land stretching beyond, 

losing itself in the greyish haze of the winter's light, 

you can never forget the sight. Bitterly sad was the 

lot of these two men, and that alone would constrain 

us to wave a respectful salute, though we also desired 

to honour the memory of their deeds. 

April 14th was the exciting day when we were to 

arrive at the depot, and discuss whether our further 

progress was assured. It was very beautiful weather 

when we started. The ice had now quite a different 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

appearance. Out over the Straits it was broken up into 
a mass of small packs, but where we were travelling 
it was in fairly good condition, in a small belt along the 
land. Soon after startino", Ristvedt went on land in 
pursuit of a flock of ptarmigan sitting on the crest of a 
hill. They disappointed him by taking to flight ; but 
we were soon compensated for this, for, while I was 
driving on, and had already got a good way ahead of 
Ristvedt, I suddenly saw something a long way off, 
which looked like a stone. If it was a stone it must 
have been a very large one, judging from the distance, 
and I could not remember having seen any exceptionally 
large stone at this spot at the time of the boat trip. 
So I took out the glasses, and there, sure enough, was a 
reindeer. It can be well imagined that I immediately 
stopped the dogs, lest they should scent the quarry and 
spoil the sport. I waited quietly till Ristvedt came up, 
and then took charge of both the sledges. Ristvedt had 
long proved himself a much better hunter than I was, 
and, however pleasant it might have been for me to have 
a shot, this was not the time for practising. We had to 
get the best possible result from our cartridges, no misses 
being allowed, and, therefore, Ristvedt had to go out 
whenever anything living appeared on the horizon. 
Someone must remain with the sledges, otherwise it 
would have been impossible to keep the dogs quiet. It 
was hard enough to manage this with only myself in 
charge, especially later on, when the dogs knew what 
Ristvedt's absence with his gun meant. 



The reindeer stood out on the flat plain, it was impos- 
sible to get any cover, and one could not help being seen 
when advancing like a black spot over a white surface. 
But Ristvedt adopted the Eskimo method : making a 
long detour, until he had got the sun at his back, he 
made straight for the deer with his head bent down, so 
that it did not project above his shoulders, and only 
moved his lesfs from the knees downwards. This is a 
useful method, as the Eskimo secure many deer with it, 
although they must approach near enough to be able to 
use their bows and arrows. Ristvedt only wanted to 
get within a couple of hundred yards. He was a sure 
shot at that range. It was very exciting to follow the 
hunt. At the moment there was hardly any wind, and, 
what there was, was in such a direction that the deer 
did not get any scent. When Ristvedt had proceeded 
a certain distance in this fatiguing crouching position, I 
saw the deer lift his head and look towards him. It was 
evidently speculating as to what it could be. Ristvedt's 
heiofht was about the same as its own, and the breadth 
about the same as that of a deer when approaching direct. 
The sun was straight in its eyes, and made it blink ; but 
there was surely no danger, it must only be a comrade. 
It then lay down, apparently thinking : " So I can go on 
digging in the snow and I must not lose any time if I am 
to get a meal to-day." This was its last thought ; look- 
ing through the glasses I saw it fall as if struck by 
lightning, and then the short, sharp report of the gun 
reached my ear. The dogs started up with stretched-out 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

necks, pointed ears, and distended nostrils. A crack with 
the whip and we started at a dashing rate towards the 
spot from whence the report had come. I hardly had 
time to jump on the sledge before we were off. When 
we reached Ristvedt, who stood by the side of the deer, 
the dogs stopped of themselves and began to lick up the 
snow where the blood had run, and I had to use the 
whip to get them to lie still until we could get the deer 
on to the sledge. We then scanned the horizon with the 
glasses, and perceived another deer ; off went Ristvedt 
aofain, and we bao-o-ed a second. 

This was a nice load to drive, two newly killed deer : 
splendid food for us as well as for our dogs. We had 
not far to go to the depot at Cape Crozier, so we pre- 
ferred to load the deer as they were on the sledge and 
drive off with them. If we had opened them first we 
would have risked o-ettino- much blood over our sledges ; 
we were, moreover, so anxious to see if the depot was in 
order that we did not care to pitch camp on the spot, 
although we had by this extra store of provisions added, 
so to speak, to the days available. We then drove off 
across Low Water Creek, a bay direct south from the 
Cape depot, and so called because the entrance was so 
low that, at the time of our summer trip, we could not 
get our boat into it. Suddenly my dogs scented some- 
thing. First Silla raised her head in the air and sniffed, 
but then settled quietly down in the harness, so that I 
thought I had made a mistake. But soon she began to 
get restless again. Mylius and Gjoa also began to lift 



their heads. It was better to stop and see if their noses 
were better than my eyes. It seemed to me, however, 
that I could see everything clear right away to the ridge 
of Cape Crozier, forming a white, sharp line against the 
sky, a few miles off. Armed with the glasses I saw that 
the dogs were right ; far away up on the crest of the 
ridge there were two deer, walking peacefully. A slight 
breeze was blowing down from them towards us. Ristvedt 
overtook me. Some of his dogs had also been a little 
restless, and we set our course straight towards the deer. 
We went along at a sharp trot over the snow, and at a 
suitable distance we stopped again, and Ristvedt went on 
alone. He had soon to lie fiat on his stomach ; he could 
not have gone straight up the hill towards the deer, which 
had a bird's-eye view of him. But the deer, which had 
probably seen the sledges in the distance, were very 
curious and wanted to come a little nearer to find out 
what the black thing could be. I lay on one load with 
the glasses to my eyes. When looking thus, it is difficult 
to imagine why the man does not shoot, because through 
the glasses, the distance between the huntsman and the 
animal seems so short. At last there is a report, and 
there lay one animal ; the other rushed quickly back, 
stopped, probably wondering why his mate had lain down ; 
then he approached again. If his comrade could lie so 
quietly, surely there could be no danger. Step by step 
he came nearer, with his head raised so that the antlers 
lay back over his neck, stopped, drew a little back, 
stopped, — off went the gun. The animal wheeled 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

around and dashed off at full speed. "He has missed 
him " thoug-ht I. But one can't run away from death. 

Bay. Silla. 



Death had eone out from Ristvedt's grun and it was now 
drainino- the heart's blood out of the deer on to the white 



snow. Fifty yards — quicker and quicker — one hundred 
yards — a heavy fall, and all was over. " No, he hit him 
after all," thought I. I let Silla loose so that she could 
follow the deer in case he should rise again, but there 
was no need. I then drove up to the hunter with the 
sledges and we placed the two fresh deer on them. Now 
with really heavy loads we continued along the ridge ; 
we should soon be there, surely, as it was just around that 
projection. Quite right, there lay the cairn large and 
broad on the foreshore ; and the depot — the bears had 
robbed it. 

We pitched our tent, skinned the deer, and went to 
bed. But that night, for the first time, I slept badly ; as 
the four meagre reindeer by no means made up for my 
ample depot, how could I now hope to cover a little new 
ground ? New plans ran unceasingly through my head. 
Supposing the dogs should break loose and eat the meat 
lying outside unprotected on the snow. Every move- 
ment made me listen attentively. Yes, and the bilberry 
rum punch we had drunk as a cup of rejoicing for the 
unexpected deer, and a cup of sorrow for the loss of the 
depot, would have been better left alone. 

Next day, April 15th, we had brilliant sunny weather, 

which we utilised for drying our wet skin clothes. They 

get wet at this time of the year, partly from inside and 

partly from outside, from the snowy mist, which settles 

on you and thaws when the sun shines and remains 

matted in your dark clothes, one of the few dark spots in 

the landscape. We divided up the reindeer meat and 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

had to re-arrange our loads. We had now dog's meat 
for thirty days added to what we had already. This 
permitted of an advance of twenty days, if we were 
prepared to sacrifice some of our dogs for the advantage 
of their comrades, should luck desert us, and should we 
find no game on the way. We established a depot of 
deer's meat on the hill for the dogs and for ourselves for 
four days. We put it amongst some loose stones on an 
old shore line. By pulling the stones aside we made 
a large hole in the earth. Alongside we placed a tin 
containing two and a half gallons of petroleum which we 
thought we would dispense with if we could only continue 
for about twenty days more, then we rolled large stones 
on top of it. Foxes could not touch it, and we hoped 
that we had placed it so far on to the land that the 
bears could not get a scent of it. As a rule bears do not 
care to leave the ice. We, therefore, hoped to be able 
to find the depot safe again, otherwise I really do not 
know how property can be protected against bears. The 
depot at Cape Crozier, which was established at the time 
of the boat trip, consisted, as previously stated, of 
500 lbs., partly of pemmican, partly of a mixture of fish 
and suet, for clog's food, and put into two soldered metal 
cases. At Cape Crozier there are huge rocks which 
disinteo-rate into laro-e flat slabs. We had set the two 
tin cases on the foreshore and arranged round them 
reo-ular vaults made of heavy stones, which two strong 
men could' hardly carry. We had thus passed half the 
day in piling stone blocks over the whole depot, stones 



as large as any of us were capable of lifting. It was 
quite a little mountain when it was ready, but all this the 
bears had torn aside, and all we found was a single piece 
of metal rolled together. The bear had set his mark on 
it — five long rents through it lengthwise. He had thus 
ripped the case open, but why he had afterwards rolled 
the metal together and bitten it I am unable to say ; 
I trust it was from rage at having cut himself with it. 

Although we had taken thirteen days to reach Cape 
Crozier (I had calculated on seven) I was sanguine 
enough to think that we could drive home in five. It 
was, as a matter of fact, only one hundred miles, and at 
a better time of the year and with lighter dogs it ought 
to be easily done, even if we were forced to kill some of 
the dogs ; therefore I left behind stores for only four 
days. For lunch that day we had marrow soup, made 
of the marrow bones of the four deer. One ought not 
to be too greedy when eating such a dish ; the rich hot 
fatty stuff glides down so easily when one is hungry 
after a tiring day. But it slipped down on too large 
a scale. Ristvedt, who had a stomach like a harmonium, 
although he was not a sailor, maliciously told me after- 
wards, when the meal was well down, that on the 
occasion of the sledge trip in the previous year he had 
treated the Captain to a similar dish, with the result that 
he had a dreadful stomach ache ; and, as a matter of fact, 
I myself did not escape it. 

On Sunday, April i6th, we stopped on account of bad 
weather. We only took a little trip inland and saw that 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

inside the ridge at Cape Crozier there is a depression 
runnino- rio-ht across the land from Alexander Strait to 
Simpson Strait. Two ptarmigan flew by us and there 
seemed to be no scarcity of them. We had already seen 
some in fact, so that there was every prospect of getting 
a few into our stew pot if we cared for that sort of sport. 
We also saw the first snow bunting ; it flew in front of 
us, alighting here and there, pecking at the snow. 
Where the ridge projected bastion-like towards the 
depot point, we built a cairn. I hoped to be able to see 
this from " Land seen by Rae," so as to have a definite 
point to refer to. We then stole down and settled into 
our sleeping bags ; we were frozen, as the wind was 
blowing hard. The snow drifted in and the temperature 
was nearly 4" below zero Fahr., but the snow-bunting sat 
chirping on the top of the cairn. 

The pack ice lay waiting for us. We had seen the 
surface of the ice over the straits slowly changing its 
level appearance ever since we left Fitz- James Island, 
but it was only now as we looked from the ridge of land 
on Cape Crozier towards the " Land seen by Rae " that 
we failed to see level surface anywhere. Nevertheless, 
we slept comfortably that night, for we did not yet know 
what pack ice was ; we had only heard of it and had 
been told that one had to struggle and wriggle through 
it, and that as one advanced it flowed with the current 
just as rapidly in the opposite direction. We knew also 
that those who had told us of such difficulties were not 
easily frightened, but we comforted ourselves with the 



thought that the ice we had to pass over was only 

" Strait ice." There were no mountain-high ridges of 

pack ice to be seen there. It could only be trifling in 

comparison with what may be met with in the great 

Arctic Sea ; besides it was quite still, the frost had 

solidly united it from coast to coast in this narrow 

passage, so we did not risk drifting out of our way. We 

should probably not be able to do more than ten miles 

a day, but as it could not be much more than about 

fifty miles to Victoria Land, we should there have " Land 

seen by Rae " to travel on. This was consolation 

enough and the last night on Cape Crozier we slept very 

peacefully. The next evening we were not so hopeful ; 

in fact, there lay the pack ice still waiting for us, and 

after travelling on it one day, we knew what we were to 

expect of it. 

The first day, April 17 th, we travelled from 9 till 

3 o'clock ; I could do no more. During this time, we 

had been travelling at the magnificent rate of half a mile 

an hour, that is to say, we had covered three miles in all. 

We did not talk much together that evening, we were too 

tired. However, we agreed that we could not go on like 

this and that we should have to find some other method 

of progression if there was much more of that kind of 

ice. The next day we endeavoured to drive on with one 

sledge at a time, harnessing all the dogs to it, but this 

made the way three times as long, because we had to 

return for the other sledge. 

On April 19th we started by going some distance on 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

ski and then turningf back to fetch the sledoes. In this 
way the dogs followed the track made, and we could 
devote all our attention to steadying the sledge so that 
there were comparatively few upsets. But it was very 
laborious work struggling on, half crippled. It was a 
brilliantly clear day about 1 3° below freezing point ; in 
front of us the land lay so near that it had quite lost its 
monotonous white tone, and we could already see all the 
details of the landscape. After three hours' more work 
we got out of the pack-ice ; our toil was over for the 
present, for, after all we had gone through, it was only 
child's play driving over the level strip of ice that 
separated us from the land. In a couple of hours we 
reached the shore, but to our great astonishment we had 
first to drive over two islets, some sixty feet high before 
we made the land from whose shore rises the very 
conspicuous Mount Rae to a height of about 330 feet 
above sea-level. In the hazy light it was impossible to 
see both islands ; it all appeared to form one unbroken 
surface sloping up to the summit. 

The day after, April 20th, we set our course towards 
the land we had seen out westwards from the top of 
Mount Rae. The route led us past very fresh bear 
tracks, but we never caught sight of the bear ; while we 
were resting out on a little islet in the middle of the 
sound, a ptarmigan flew up and sat down close by Rist- 
vedt's sledge, but it had not sat there long before it was 
shot. It sat long enough, however, to lead me to think 
how strange it is that ptarmigan are so shy at times that 

VOL. II. 321 Y 


it is almost impossible to get within range, at other times 
are so tame that they come and sit cackling beside you 
and remain there even if you have to fidget about to get 
hold of your gun. 

When we reached the other side of the sound, to the 
large low island we afterwards named " Easter Island," 
we saw some reindeer. As the dogs had not noticed 
anything, we thought they would be quiet enough if we 

Godfred Hansen. 

tied them so that they could not start off after us with the 

sledees. Then each of us went out in a different direc- 

tion, but neither of us had any luck. Ristvedt was the 

first to scare his quarry, and the deer came at full speed 

down towards where I was lying ; I crouched down as 

much as possible, but it kept out of range. I saw Ristvedt 

2oino- to the sledo-es, and, as the two deer I had Q-one 

after were still at some distance, I waited quietly until 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

Ristvedt came up. Then he went after the deer. They 
must, however, have seen the other run away, as they 
were so frightened that they started off long before he 
got near them. Then I drew up after Ristvedt, and on 
the way I passed a deer track, which I thought was made 
by the deer Ristvedt had gone after. I therefore let the 
dogs follow up the fresh track as fast as they liked, as I 
thought it would certainly lead me to Ristvedt ; but in 
this I was mistaken, for this w^as the track of the first 
deer that had been frightened away. The deer had long 
ago disappeared in the distance, but these tracks were 
fresh, and we followed them at such a speed that I could 
neither turn the dogs aside nor get them to stop ; they 
had got the thirst for blood. They started with their 
noses down in the snow, like a couple of famished wolves. 
Ristvedt got smaller and smaller in the distance, and soon 
I could see nothing but the white snow-field all round. 
Ristvedt's sledge had stopped long ago. His dogs were 
exhausted, and this was fortunate, under the circum- 
stances. At last I succeeded in turning my sledge over ; 
this stopped the dogs, and it was now my turn. After 
giving them a good drubbing, I turned them round 
towards Ristvedt. I then righted the sledge and started 
back. I ran alongside the sledge, so as to be ready to 
turn it over, if necessary, but they had caught sight of 
Ristvedt and there was no further trouble. Ristvedt was 
standing- wondering- where I was off to. We then started 
again in the usual order. We shaped our course towards 
the setting sun, which glided like a glowing ball along the 

323 Y 2 


low ridge in the west. The ridge turned towards us its 
coal-black, shady side, wherein every detail was lost 
in the thick darkness. But the crest formed a sharp, 
irregular, notched line of rocks against the red glow of 
the evening sky. Suddenly a deer was seen standing 
right in the sun, its silhouette sharply outlined against the 
sky. It must have been lying down, and had now got 
restless. It really looked gigantic as it stood there, like 
some mighty creature from prehistoric times. For a 
moment it stood with its head erect, the neck curved 
back so that the antlers spread over its back. The dogs 
saw it, but did not seem to realise what this colossal form 
was ; yet they stood, suddenly riveted to the spot, with 
their legs extended. Men and dogs were bathed in the 
rays of the sun. The reindeer showed no sign of fear. 
He simply turned round, and slowly disappeared behind 
the ridge. Then the dogs seemed to realise that it was 
a deer, and wanted to rush forward. I had to throw 
myself on Per and Bay to force them to the ground. 
Silla and Gjoa were both mad for the chase, so I seized 
one under each arm, and, rolling over them, held them 
all in a struggling mass, so as to prevent them from 
howling. Ristvedt came up ; his dogs had not seen any- 
thing, and they were quieter. I told him to go on. I 
hardly expected that the deer would still be walking on 
the other side of the ridge, for the few howls which had 
escaped from the throats of Bay and Gjoa were enough 
to frighten an animal whose race has for centuries been 
hunted, terror-stricken at the ear-piercing, diabolical 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

howl of the wolves, the solitary sound that wakes the 
majestic stillness of the winter's night. 

Ristvedt went on and reached the top of the hill ; then 
I saw him lie down and rest his oun on a boulder, so I 
knew that the deer had not lono- to live. The eun went 
off and I loosed the dogs. I had just time to get out of 
the way of the sledge as it dashed past me like a gust of 
wind. One would hardly have thought that ten minutes 
ago the dogs were exhausted, with their tongues hanging 
from their mouths ; but now, having scented blood, no 
effort was too trreat for them. We had not far to o-q ; 
only over the crest of the hill. When we reached the 
other side, Ristvedt was skinning the reindeer. 

On Easter Eve, April 22nd, there was a southerly gale 
and we had to remain in the tent. Eventually, on the 
Monday, April 24th, there was nothing to prevent us 
from proceeding. It was necessary to advance, and at 
first it was easy travelling. The mile down to the coast 
was a mere nothing, and the next mile and a-half out 
presented no particular difficulty, but the route gradually 
became more trying, and we were at last brought to a 
standstill. I had to go and search for a path, and after 
forging ahead for some two hundred yards, I reached 
a level track — but what a track ! It looked level enough 
between the bends, but we continually sank in it up to 
our armpits. Indeed, it took us two hours to take the 
sledges over the two hundred odd yards. 

Thursday, May 4th, was a great day for the Expedi- 
tion. First we drove as we did in Simpson Strait, in 



what we called the good old days, each man alongside 
his sledge, and sometimes on it ; but I had very soon to 
go on in front, as it was by no means so level towards 
the land as it looked at first si^ht. There were 
hummocks and pack ice here and there in the ice 
fields and to find the best course, one had to go on in 
front. The doo-s seemed to have a most astonishino- 
inclination to go north-west, and not straight out in the 
direction we wanted them to take, towards the nearest 
land. When we came to an extra large hummock 
I wanted to go up to inspect the route. Hardly had 
I stopped when Ristveldt called to me that he saw some- 
thino- dark which was movinof on the ice a lonor distance 
away. What could it be ? I almost felt my heart 
beating. It mattered little what it was ; any living 
creature out here in the barren ice fields offered 
prospects of further progress. I took out the glasses 
and found it was not one dark spot ; there were many 
■spots spread out in the form of a crescent over the ice. 
They were Eskimo, seal fishing. So it was by no 
means strano-e that the doo-s had wanted to q-q in that 
direction. We fixed the fiao- on the sledp'e and as we 
thought there was a slight possibility that there might be 
white folk amono- them, we beo-an to rub ourselves over 
with a little snow, to remove from our faces as much of 
the soot from the petroleum stove as possible. Then we 
drove on again. Evidently the Eskimo had also seen 
us, for they came rushing over towards us, closing up as 
they approached. When they were all collected together 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

at about 400 to 500 yards from us, they halted, and we 
did the same. Out in these wild regions, where might is 
right, one never knows w^iether one is meeting friend or 
foe, so that it is best to be prepared ; the usual 
formalities of an Arctic meeting had to be complied 
with. We drove the sledges up so that they were 
broadside on towards the strangers ; Ristvedt lay down 
behind them with his gun loaded and the cartridges 
ready at his side. Then I braced up my courage and 
went forward with my hands raised above my head to 
show that I had no weapon ; an envoy also came out 
from the Eskimo, holding his hands in the air so that 
there was nothing to fear, and we met in the middle of 
the arena. His white teeth shone in front of me, so 
broad was the smile that spread over his flat amiable 
Eskimo features. He was not afraid of me and there 
was no expression of fear in his eyes at the sight of my 
strange features ; indeed, the dirt which covered my face 
was of the same kind as on his own. I returned his 
smile with genuine pleasure. Such a meeting at least 
indicated as much food as we could carry on our sledges. 
When we came up to each other he said something 
about " Kilnermium Innuit," the name of his tribe. 
I understood that, because I already knew the name, and 
I replied that we were " Kabluna " or white men. Then 
we embraced and rubbed our cheeks together. W^hen 
you are in Rome you must do as Rome does. He was 
my friend for the two days we remained there, and 
during that time he certainly thought I understood 



everything he said, merely because I had said we were 
" Kabluna " when he mentioned the name of his race, 
but of course I did not understand a word. As our 
Norwegian- Eskimo language was of no use to us, we 
could not get any information about the land further 
ahead, and any conversation which had a definite object, 
had to be carried on by signs. 

When our two parties, that is to say, Ristvedt and the 
other Eskimo, saw that affairs had taken a peaceful 
turn, they also approached the spot where we both 
stood, chatting and gesticulating eagerly. With joy and 
gladness we all rubbed cheeks together, and then started 
off to their igloo settlement, a couple of miles away. 
We went pretty quickly, for they attached what dogs 
they had to the front of our sledges. When we 
approached the igloos more people came out to meet us, 
which led to more rubbing of the cheeks, so that when 
it was all over our cheeks were almost clean. We 
would not move into their igloos, as at that time of the 
year the snow house is a very miserable dwelling ; 
the roof melts with the heat which quickly forms inside, 
owing to the temperature of the outer atmosphere, so 
that we preferred to remain in the tent which we raised, 
surrounded by a large crowd of Eskimo filled with 
curiosity. The spectators were highly amused, but 
fortunately we had Lili to keep them away from the 
sledges, so that we avoided any unpleasant results from 
their curiosity. 

There were about half a score of iMoos, although some 


Towards King Haakon VI Is Land. 

of them were empty, as several of the tribe had gone 
northwards towards Admiralty Island. There were 
about twenty to thirty individuals in this camp, and as 
far as we could understand, about a similar number had 
gone north ; but, on the whole, they were only a very 
small portion of the large Kilnermium tribe, which had 
come out seal hunting on Albert Edward Bay that 
winter. Seven of them had died in the course of the 
winter. The Eskimo who told me this laid his hand on 
his chest and coughed to show us the cause ; it must 
have been some lung disease. They were, if possible, 
more primitive than our Nechilli friends. They had to 
manage, to a greater extent than the Nechilli, with 
copper knives and copper needles, but their bows were 
better, and it was clear that they had more facilities for 
getting wood. Their dress was a little different from 
that of the Nechilli ; the hoods had a blunt point at 
the back of the head. The waist band reached up high 
over the hips, but in compensation for this the 
" anoraks " were cut off shorter, being even more like 
dress coats than those of the Nechilli. 

I bouQrht a seal which the owner had brouoht home 
with him, and paid for it with a knife about two and 
a half inches lono-, which had been made from one of our 
ice-saw blades. It may have been rather mean, but if 
a transaction is honourable when both parties are satis- 
fied, this one was so, because it would have been difficult 
to say which of us was the more satisfied with his 
bargain. I badly wanted the seal, and he, poor fellow, 



had never owned a steel knife in his life. Later we 
bought more blubber, the price for half a side of seal 
was a three-inch nail ; but the price made even me 
blush. When the deal was concluded, and we had 
procured as much blubber as we could use, I gave the man 
a pair of surgical scissors as a present. Not only were 
he and his wife delighted, but the whole tribe rejoiced at 
the possession of such a treasure. 

When we were resting in our sleeping bags we were 
constantly visited by some of the ladies, who brought 
us small mouthfuls of the cooked blubber from the 
front flippers of the bearded seal, which tasted some- 
thing like pigs' trotters. At first we were innocent 
enough to believe that it was on account of our own 
personal attractions, but we subsequently discovered that 
it was some beads I had in a couple of match boxes 
that were the main attraction. I made them a present 
of about half a score ; I had to be very economical with 
them. Gradually the mouthfuls became smaller, but in 
compensation they were more frequent ; at last we had 
to send them off without remuneration ; this had the 
desired effect, and we were not further disturbed. 

For supper we cooked some blubber and meat of the 
seal I had bought. It was my first real meal of seal 
meat. I had certainly eaten seal meat before as a steak, 
but I had never tried it a la Eskimo, and without any 
Polar boasting I can say it was excellent. The meat 
tastes like mussels, and the blubber when fresh is just as 
delicate, though not so fat as pork. We had to be very 

Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

careful not to put too much in the pot, for it sHps down 
so easily that we run the risk of repeating the incident of 
the marrow soup at Cape Crozier. 

On May 5th we remained where we were. Indeed, it 
would have been difficult to get our dogs to move, as 
they had been allowed to eat as much blubber as they 
liked, and that was no trifle after their long diet on 
reindeer meat. But it had proved rather too strong for 
them. We spent the day in cutting up the meat and 
getting our loads ready for the next day. We had to 
repack everything now that the greater part of our tin 
cases were wanted for the blubber. We removed the 
false runners from the sledges ; we thought that the 
snow was now so wet that German-silver runners would 
glide more easily. W^e had sufficient food for one and 
a half months ; we could not take any more because 
the sledges were full. We could have got more from 
the Eskimo, as they had been very successful with their 
catches, and had large stocks of blubber. The next 
night we slept just as well as the first. It was pleasant 
to lie down quietly with the knowledge that we were 
now to go over the level ice of Albert Edward Bay, and 
be able to make good headway again. There were 
probabilities of reaching new land, and these were 
pleasant thoughts to slumber on. 

On May 6th we started off. Our friends were very 
contented with the few things they had obtained, a 
pair of scissors, a knife, a few nails, a match box of 
beads What riches ! They would never forget the 


day. I wished we could have given them more, but 
we were not equipped for trading. Indeed, we had never 
expected to meet any Eskimo, but we determined if we 
encountered them on our return journey, to give them 
anything we could dispense with. With these good 
intentions we started out on the ice ; the Eskimo stood 
looking after us as long as we could see them, probably 
discussing who we were and what our real object w^as. 
Possibly if they are left in peace in their poor land for 
another couple of centuries, two weird names, represent- 
ing Ristvedt and myself may be handed down among 
their traditions. Our intention was to drive far enough 
into Albert Edward Bay to get inside the pack-ice. We 
had had enough of it, and even if we were obliged to 
proceed right to the end of the bay, that would be prefer- 
able to shortening the road ; but, unfortunately, it would 
take much longer than following the direct route. 

On May 7th we set our course direct for Cape Adelaide. 
We wanted to oret on a heio"ht in order to have a view of 
the surroundings. We had long had to content ourselves 
with the poor view obtainable from a high hummock. We 
advanced over the southerly slope, which I fancy must be 
a paradise in the summer. There were already large 
patches quite free from snow, and some long grass was 
left there from the previous summer. The ground was 
certainly frozen quite hard and the grass withered, but we 
conjured up before our " snow-tired " eyes, fantastic 
pictures of green grass and rippling streams, of flowers 
and bilberries, of grazing reindeer, of hares tripping 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

about, of lively ptarmigans, all bathed in the rays of the 
sun just as it might be on a lovely August day. An entire 
fata Morgana arose before the mind's eye, fortunately not 
altogether, however, for we descried some real ptarmigan 
and shot a brace. 

On May 8th, towards noon, I noticed some jet black 
spots ahead of us. I stood looking at them for a while 
throuofh the g-lasses, but as I could notice no movement 
I concluded they were stones. Certainly they were very 
isolated, apparently some distance from land, but I had 
long ago ceased to judge of distances in the winter light. 
Besides, we were accustomed to great surprises in the 
shape of long low projections of land spits, the existence 
of which we did not dream of till we drove over them 
and saw a stone here and there projecting from the snow. 
The sun had just come out, and we halted so that I 
might take the latitude at noon. While I fixed up the 
theodolite, Ristvedt took the glasses, and he arrived at 
a totally different conclusion from mine. The stones 
moved : they were seals — three huge ones lying basking 
in the sun. Their broad dark backs offered a good mark 
for the sun's rays. Anything white, such as snow and 
ice, throws back the rays of the sun, but black objects 
absorb them. There they lay sleeping, as seals do, for 
half a minute at a time. Every half minute they raise 
their heads, look round and sniff the air, then they let 
their heads droop again. So they go on without inter- 
ruption, up and down, up and down. You must stealthily 
approach them when they are down, as then the seal 



neither sees nor hears anything, but it is all the more 
watchful when its head is raised. You must then lie 
as quiet as a mouse, concealed, if possible, behind some 
upstanding block of ice or other projection ; but, above 
all things, keep quiet. The least movement frightens 
the seal, and, however quiet, heavy, and sluggish it may 
have looked, it is gone like a flash of lightning. I was 
not therefore very confident in Ristvedt's success, but it 
was well worth his trying, while I attended to the 
observations, and accordingly off he went. 

He had tied his dogs to the side of the sledge, and 
I had secured Silla close to the stern so that she could 
not pull without hurting her hind legs. Gjoa had a 
noose round her neck. These were the two worst I 
thought, and if they could not pull, the other ones would 
certainly keep quiet. But that is where I made a 
mistake. Just as I was lying down quietly to have a 
look at the sun through the instrument, which was 
standing upon a box at the side of the sledge, the box 
and the instrument received such a push that both 
toppled over in the snow in different directions, and 
away went the sledge. The dogs had heard the report 
of a gun, but I had not, and in spite of Silla's and Gjoa's 
efforts to hold on, off they went in Ristvedt's direction, 
straight along his track. ]3ut I was too quick for them, 
I got alongside and upset the sledge ; I presume the 
pack-ice had taught me that trick. In any case I 
succeeded in stopping them. Ristvedt's dogs, having 
to drag their sledge sideways, soon lost their inclination 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

to run away, I then returned, set up the instrument 
again, and succeeded in getting the latitude. The 
instrument had fallen on such soft snow that it suffered 
no damage. After taking the latitude I drove up to 
Ristvedt. He had secured a bearded seal, 7 feet 
6 inches long and six feet round at the fore-flippers — 
a regular mountain of flesh to look at. There were a 
number of small blocks of ice on the way, near the spot, 
and distributed so favourable that Ristvedt had succeeded 
in orettino" within ranore. Having- selected one of the 
three seals lying round the hole in the ice, he aimed at 
its head and killed it. It is important to kill a seal out- 
right ; the shot must finish it off at once, otherwise even 
its last convulsion will cause its body to slide down 
through the hole in the ice, and then it is hopelessly lost. 
He had fired at the moment when it was looking up. 
It caused quite a thud on the ice as its head dropped ; 
every muscle was relaxed. He ran up to plunge the 
harpoon into it ; it was provided with a strap, and 
we carried it for any contingency. However, he pre- 
ferred sendinof another bullet throuoh its head at close 
quarters, to make quite sure of his booty. The size of 
the seal frightened him. Had he harpooned it, and 
there had been any life left in it, it might have regained 
consciousness for an instant and disappeared down the 
hole with the harpoon and line, possibly with Ristvedt 
himself, if he had attempted to prevent it. The hole 
was large enough for that, over two yards in circum- 
ference, with an even slope — a slide^on one side, where 



the seals could crawl up. When the shot was fired the 
other two disappeared from sight, apparently at the same 
instant. There must have been a little difference in time, 
however, as the hole was barely large enough for even 
one of the big creatures. 

When starting on the morning of May 9th a fresh 
northerly breeze faced us. It was very cold, so much so 
that it was impossible to sit on the sledge, even with 
a full set of furs on, except for the few moments neces- 
sary for consulting the map. Whether the temperature 
was really 22° below zero Fahr., as we surmised, I can- 
not say. May be the high temperature of the past few 
days spoilt us. Now we had to find our way into the 
deep narrow bay charted by Rae, which cuts into the 
land to the north, from the northern coast of Albert 
Edward Bay. We wished to drive up through this bay, 
as I thought it could not be very far to the water 
beyond. Collinson has recorded a bay there. On 
driving for an hour and a-half we sighted land in the 
direction of our course. We approached it at a rapid 
pace, as the dogs had now shaken off the effect of their 
gourmandizing. It was no trifle they had managed to 
stow away, and at first it took some persuasion at the 
end of our whip to make them go at a reasonable speed. 
They could not understand why we should drive away 
from a spot where there was so much food. An Eskimo 
would have reasoned just the same, so presumably it 
was the most natural aro-ument. It was civilisation that 
prompted our longing to make progress. This was a 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

thought worth keeping" clear in one's mind. Sometimes 
it required argument to convince ourselves that we were 
civilised men. The picture I had before me in the 
person of my fellow traveller, and the picture he had 
before him of his companion, as also our utensils and 
housekeeping arrangements, all the fat and dirt, petroleum, 
soot, reindeer hair and strips of skin, might easily make 
it doubtful. Our conversation about weather, wind, and 
hunting — i.e., food — sleeping bags and dogs, and nothing 
else, would sometimes make us feel as thousfh we were 
simply what we looked. That we throve exceedingly 
well on this : that we thought we had never eaten better 
in all our life, never slept so well : that in reality only 
sunshine, warmth, and food comprised all that we 
expected from our existence, might at times make us 
afraid of reflecting on what we were doing towards 
achieving^ our aim in life. But then we would aQfain 
ponder on the trodden footmarks of two men and the 
narrow lines formed by the runners of our sledge on 
the virgin snow and the untrodden land beneath — the 
sledge tracks that ended at our tent, but which were to 
be continued to-morrow over the glittering expanse. 
After all, it was only a picture of strenuous endeavour. 
" To take life as one finds it " is called a virtue. Yes, 
of course, in a sense it is, but it comes very natural. 
Dogs have it and the Eskimo have it ; men in whose 
hearts no such word as " Forward " is inscribed, rank no 

By degrees, as land began to loom out of the ice 

VOL. II. 337 Z 


haze, driving became more pleasant. It was something 
more to look at than the flat ice which previously 
surrounded us on every side. To be sure, there w^as no 
rocky land, but there were hills and slopes, some of the 
heights rising to about three hundred feet. We got up 
under the coast and entered a bay on the left, which we 
had thought of following. To all appearance it was 
the only opening on the coast. However, on reaching 
the lower end of it we found we were in the wrongf 
street, and Ristvedt mounted a small hill to reconnoitre ; 
thence he sighted the proper bay. He could distinguish 
the ice from the land by the ridge of ice extending all 
alone the coast. This ice ridee is so formed that the 
sea practically freezes right down to the bottom in the 
shallow water near the beach. It is formed when 
the water is at its highest (spring tides). At ebb tide 
the sea recedes from under the ice, with the result that 
the latter, unable to support its own weight, drops down 
again on to the surface of the water, and then it breaks 
off near land, where it settles to the bottom as it cannot 
get away from the shore. The ice next the shore 
remains there, and the ice outside on the deeper water 
sinks a trifle more, thus forming a step, affording a 
means of ascending from the ice to the shore. The 
height of the step depends directly on the difference 
between the spring and ebb tides. Here the steps 
were a couple of feet high and enabled Ristvedt from 
that elevation to see that a narrow sound extended 
along the bottom of the valley. We had merely to 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

drive across a narrow isthmus to get on the right road 

It was my intention to drive to the end of the bay, but 
on getting down on the ice we perceived near the other 
coast an island, with a very pecuHar erection, like a cairn, 
at the highest point. This, of course, had to be inves- 
tigated more closely. The Eskimo do not build such 
cairns, they merely place single stones on the top of 
one another. This one, however, looked quite monu- 
mental. We drove across the bay and pitched our camp 
near the foreshore of the island. Sure enough, it was 
a cairn, although not quite so high as it appeared at first 
sight. Across the top of the island there was a ridge 
about fifteen feet high. At the western end of this ridge 
there was another pyramidal elevation, and the cairn, 
consisting of large slabs of limestone, was built on the 
summit. We pulled down the cairn. I have always 
had an objection to this work of demolition. Cairns, 
miserable stoneheaps though they be, are signs of human 
beings, human work, in the midst of the wild deserts. 
But that is not all. One's hesitation to take it down is 
due to one's veneration for the men who have been there 
before. The cairns meant something to them, just the 
same as those we erect have a meaning for ourselves. 
Some difficulty surmounted, some step forward towards 
a goal. They leave a trace of our wanderings that is to 
endure for centuries, when the snow has lone since 
melted from under the sledge tracks and when our names 
have disappeared like the melting snow. They are a 

339 Z 2 


trophy of victory impressed upon land, won from dark- 
ness, from the spirits of evil. But the cairn had to come 
down, we had to see whether it contained anything, 
perhaps a message from our brave precursor, Rae. We 
found nothing, however. We thereupon descended to 
our camp. On our way dow^n we saw a hare, but tried 
in vain to use Gjoa as a sporting dog. She did not seem 
to take the slightest interest in the subject, and when the 
hare took to its heels across the ice, we abandoned the 
idea of that little luxury. 

On May loth we placed a depot beneath Rae's stones. 
All we had left of the dog's food, prepared by ourselves — 
about I cwt. — was deposited there. We proposed using 
it durino- the difficult drive over Victoria ice. We were 
kept prisoners for two days. During that time we 
discussed what we should do in case the ice on Victoria 
Strait broke up before we reached home. It was just as 
well to talk about it some time in advance. However, 
now that we had made a regular start on the new land, 
and there was every chance that we could procure the 
necessary food ourselves, we were tempted to prolong our 
survey into the spring. 

We left on the 13th. We had prepared the sledges on 
the previous night, and in the morning we were awakened 
by the ptarmigan outside our tent. It sounded very 
much like summer, but it looked anything but summer- 
like. It was a regular snow-storm, but, having the wind 
behind us, we decided on starting. We passed over a 
few isolated slopes on the way, and from the summit of 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

one of them, Alice Hill, we sighted pack ice in a northerly 
direction. We had another eight miles to drive, however, 
before we got there. I may mention that there was no 
real bay where Collinson had charted one ; he had drawn 
his map of this section at a distance. The point 
" Collinson's Farthest " was situated some distance to the 
east of the spot where we reached water. From there 
he had taken the isolated slopes for islands and capes, 
and the low oround between them for water. The low 
stretches of lakes and swampy ground we passed could 
not possibly be distinguished at a distance. When a slope 
of this description extends out to sea, and when there is 
little difference between the ebb and spring-tide, as is the 
case at that spot, one cannot tell where the land ends and 
where the sea begins, except when driving across the 
boundary line. We reached the beach close to a small 
headland and thereupon branched off on the ice in a 
north-westerly direction. We soon sighted land, which, 
however, only consisted of a group of islets and skerries. 
Looking due west we saw a higher point inland near the 
coast of the mainland. We drove over and remained 
there the night. Our observations during the day were 
not of much importance. The snow-storm prevented us 
from distinguishing anything clearly. 

May I 5th was a very cold day. The temperature was 
down to 22° Fahr. below zero. It blew a little, but the 
weather was clear enough for us to start. Before leaving 
camp we fixed up one of our false runners on the top of 
the hillock to have a mark for the telescope of the plane 



table. I had previously noticed how quickly one loses 
sight of cairns of snow, even when built to the height of 
a man. It is impossible to distinguish them at a distance 
of a couple of miles, even in clear weather. The false 
runner was intended to help us to recognise our hillock at 
a distance. After driving for a couple of hours we 
reached a low clear slope at the end of a headland, 
Cape Kofoed Hansen. We erected a cairn there and 
drove across a bay — H Oman's Bay — the second headl9.nd 
of which we sighted to the N.N.W. Midway on the 
bay we stopped to survey. There were two points from 
which I could not see the far end of the bay, but when 
doing charting of this kind one has not always time to 
enter into little details. The main thing is to get the 
coast line fairly outlined as far as possible. 

May 1 6th was another idle day, thanks to the frightful 
weather. It gave us an opportunity of looking after 
our clothes properly, but that was its only redeeming 
feature, for we had no time to be really idle. We were 
getting short of fuel. A couple of unfortunate upsets 
had lost us some petroleum, and by gauging our stock 
on May 13th we discovered that we had only one and 
three quarters gallons left. We must therefore 

May 17th was Norwegian Independence Day. We 
began the day by breaking open a small box which 
Lindstrom had presented to us for this occasion on 
leavine. We had for some time reo-arded it with curious 
glances and tried to make each other believe that it was 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

silly to be dragging it about on the sledge : that it would 
be much better to open it at once. But, fortunately, 
it always happened that when one was weak the other 
was strong, and when one was for opening the box the 
other descanted on the enormity of so doing before the 
appointed time. The result was that the box remained 
intact. It contained a fish-pudding, two tins of milk, 
some citron-pudding powder, wheaten bread, and six 
cigars, the whole constituting a very acceptable present 

Peder Ristvedt. 


for gentlemen in our present position. We each lighted 
a cigar forthwith, and when we had finished smoking we 
struck camp. The weather was not particularly fine, 
and we found it difficult to make progress from the very 
start. The snowstorm on the previous day had caused 
a quantity of loose snow to accumulate between the big- 
drifts around the mountain of ice, and we had almost 
to swim through it, both men and dogs, to reach better 
ground ; but, in fact, it was bad enough all the way. 



Sometimes we would drive a little way in on the coast 
and sometimes on the ice again. It was equally bad 
on both, and we waded through snow knee-deep. We 
reached a headland, Cape Christian Mikkelsen. To the 
north of this a deep fjord runs inland. Later on, the 
Captain named it Denmark Fjord. At the mouth of 
this fjord there was an island falling off steeply to the 
south. The island was probably about i8o feet high, 
considerably higher than the land along the sides of the 
fjord, seen from it summit. Remembering what day it 
was, I asked Ristvedt the name of the most important 
person who took part in forming the Norwegian Con- 
stitution. " Falsen ! " he said, and so we named the 
island. We then drove a little farther on towards some 
hio-h land which we noticed on the north side of the 
fjord, but at 5 o'clock we halted for the day. It Mas the 
first time for many a day that we had halted to fix camp 
simply because we were tired and too fagged to drive 
any further. After we had had our dinner, Ristvedt 
made a citron-pudding in our chocolate-pot. Of course 
we partook of it too freely. 

The weather was so fine on the morning of May i8th 
that we were in good hopes it had now set in in earnest. 
I did some surveying, and then we proceeded towards 
the same high land we had been making for on the 
previous day. Soon, however, everything disappeared in 
a haze, and we had to steer our course as best we could 
from one section of the main ice to another. It is not 
very convenient to stop too often to verify the course by 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

means of the compass. In such heavy sledging as we 
had to contend with there, the do^s seemed to become 
stiff-legged by waiting, instead of deriving benefit from 
the little rest. I thought I was now sufficiently experi- 
enced not to mistake land for water, however much snow 
there might be, but that was a fallacy. While driving 
merrily along in the belief that I was on ice all the time, 
a stone suddenly protruded from the snow. Evidently 
there was no water here. Soon after I noticed a small 
piece of broken ice standing up on edge. Certainly this 
could not be land. But the transition had quite escaped 
my attention. I charted the whole as a ridge of skerries 
and islets round the north headland of the fjord. Cape 
Peter Anker. I think this will turn out to be right, when 
checked in the summer. 

We camped at Cape Nygaard. We had seen from 
Cape Anker that the land ended here ; it was a ridge 
extending from Mount Dirckinck Holmfeld, out towards 
Cape Anker. Ahead of us we could see nothing. Sky, 
land, and ice intermingled in one indefinite grey haze. 
The clouds looked threatening. A large ring surrounded 
the sun in the afternoon. Cape Anker lying behind us 
was only recognised from the fact that the shallows off 
the land at that point had stopped the larger ice, so that 
the field beyond was smooth. Only Mount Dirckinck 
Holmfeld, with its gradients, was illuminated by a strong 
silvery light. Everything pointed to bad weather. We 
were beino- closed with it and no mistake. 

On May 20th we had for the first time a temperature 



of about 32° Fahr. Sleet, a mixture of snow and rain, 
was falling when we awoke. The flakes falling upon the 
canvas of our tent were large, and every now and then 
they melted, leaving a wet sparkling spot on the tent. 
Yet the weather was improving. The wind cleared 
the atmosphere later in the day. However, it was out 
of the question to think of moving before night. The 
wet snow would have formed big lumps under the 
runners of our sledee. We did not make a start till 
9 P.M. The temperature had fallen during the afternoon, 
with the result that a crust of ice had formed on the 
snow, and this made excellent going. We spun along in 
magnificent weather. Heavy clouds were forming all 
round the firmament, the sun throwing streams of light 
and dark rays down upon the ice. It was beautiful, yet 
there was something uncanny, uncertain, and tempestuous 
about the illumination. W^e dared not hope it would 
keep fine for long — neither did it. The sun set at 
1 1 o'clock behind a wall of bluish-black clouds. We 
had been out some distance from land on a portion of 
the main ice taking coast bearings, but now we set our 
course direct for a high cape. On our way we passed 
a long, low headland — Point Dietrichsen — just as it 
started snowing. We built a cairn there, hoping that 
this was only a squall of short duration, and that it 
would be over by the time we had finished our work ; 
but it grew worse and worse, so we drove out into the 
haze of snow and were fortunate enough to get direct 
to the high land. It was an isolated hill, which I at 


Towards King Haakon VI Fs Land. 

first took for an island. It turned out later that it was 
a final spur extending- from the slopes round Mount 
Dirckinck Holmfeld. The cape, the most prominent 
point on the coast, was christened Cape Sverdrup. 

At 2 A.M. on May 21st we encamped. The drive 
during the night had made us so sleepy that we cooked 
a little pemmican for our meal. We did not care to wait 
the hour or so that would be required for preparing meat 
from our " fodder-box." When we woke again, quite 
eleven hours later, we were very hungry. It seemed as 
if the meal of pemmican had not been substantial enough. 
We had only used the regulation rations, 14 ounces. This 
allowance included some chocolate, but we had not been 
able to prepare it on account of the scarcity of fuel. W^e 
quite recognised that the ration of pemmican for the 
day's chief meal, if lbs, of food, could on no account be 
reduced. We now treated ourselves to an extra cup of 

It was rather a depressing thought that we should soon 
have to turn back. The bad weather had only one 
advantage — we were not tempted too far away from our 
base. Yet it was a pity to be reduced to finding con- 
solation in a line of argument that ought to be foreign 
to a fit and energetic Arctic traveller. 

We escaped with one day of idleness at Cape Sverdrup. 
On the 22nd we got away. With a fresh breeze straight 
in our faces we proceeded over the broad flat bay, Norway 
Bay, to the north of Cape Sverdrup. Before our departure 
I went up to Cape Sverdrup to take observations, and 



came upon an old tent ring there. On the very top 
there was a huge boulder, on which I placed a long 
stone taken from the tent ring. This kind of cairn is 
visible from a much greater distance, and is more 
substantial than the ordinary ones. The land along 
the bay was quite flat, so also was the northern headland 
itself, Point Isachsen. When we reached this, I per- 
ceived Ristvedt running after me, and stopped for him. 
He asked me to lend him the glasses, and I thought 
there must be something the matter. I glanced over the 
ice, however, and saw nothing, so 1 imagined he had 
made a mistake. But he had seen enough — " Bear," 
he whispered. His lips formed the words rather than 
uttered them. His sporting eagerness had got hold of 
him ; he feared to scare his quarry, but this was rather 
unnecessary. There was a bear, no doubt, but it was 
a long way off. It was standing out on a large plateau 
of smooth ice, extendino- outwards from Point Isachsen 
and meeting the pack-ice quite near the horizon. Its 
head poised on a' wonderfully long neck, drooped down 
towards the ice ; its leg's resembled four short columns. 
There was nothing very terrifying about it in that position ; 
it was probably standing there asleep. Its yellowish skin 
was much the same colour as a block of dirty pack-ice ; 
it was almost impossible to distinguish it from the 
surrounding blocks of ice. Suddenly it turned its head 
round towards us, and then we could see its black snout 
quite distinctly. No other object in this kingdom of the 

Snow Queen, no stone, no bare spot, no dark shadow is 


Towards King Haakon VI Is Land. 

so black as the snout of a Polar bear. It cannot be 
mistaken even miles away. It looked in our direction, 
probably it had heard some of our dogs barking ; how- 
ever, it soon turned it head away again and continued 

Ristvedt took Silla and went off towards the bear. 
When he got within a suitable distance, he let the bitch 
loose, after showing her the direction. Away she went, 
slowlv at first, but suddenly she seemed to catch sight 
of the bear, and then forward she darted, like a black 
streak over the ice. I loosened more dogs. They had 
by this time learnt what it meant when Ristvedt went 
off with his rifie. Like a flash they followed his track 
and passed him, as he stumbled along over the snow, 
away after Silla. I noticed through the glasses how the 
bear again slowly turned its head towards the sledge. 
The dogs never barked ; it was possibly by the merest 
coincidence that it turned its head. But the sight that 
then met its eyes soon made it lively. It wheeled right 
round and lifted its head, stood its ground, but only for 
an instant. By instinct, or from experience, it must 
know the wolves that can chase even a bear till it drops 
from sheer exhaustion, though each one of them be such 
a miserably small creature compared to its majestic self. 
It now perceived a leash of six — seven — eight coming 
towards it at a breakneck speed, black spots dotted 
over the ice. Life was in jeopardy ; the peacefulness 
of the desert was disturbed. Up it bounded, all its 
four legs off the ice at once, and wheeled round. Then 



off at a gallop towards the pack-ice, full pelt, to save 
its life. 

Silla was too quick for Bruin. Just before the bear 
could reach the edge of the life-saving pack-ice, in the 
maze of which — where it was quite at home and within a 
yard or so of safety — the dogs could not have kept up 
with it, it was overtaken. Silla bounded forward and 
fastened her teeth in its tail. The bear had to stop and 
throw itself round to shake off the enemy, and round it 
spun, at such a rate that Silla had to let go her grip and 
was sent flying on the ice. Scarcely had the bear turned 
to resume its flight than Silla was on it again. This was 
repeated several times, but meanwhile the other dogs 
had caught up to the fugitive, and then there was no 
hope for the bear. The dogs surrounded it, and no 
matter to which side it turned, some dog or other was 
at its heels. Through the glasses I could see it spinning 
round, bounding off the ice like a rubber ball, at a speed 
one would not have credited in such a clumsy creature. 
Its rage increased. Then Ristvedt got up and fired. 
The bear was wounded, but not mortally ; it merely rose 
on its hind-legs and fought the air with its fore-paws. 
The dogs closed in on it. Silla, in her fury, sprang 
rioht at the face of the bear, and received a blow from 
its broad paw. It must already have been somewhat 
weakened, otherwise it would have killed the plucky 
bitch outright. As it was, she took several minutes to 
recover ; we had given up hopes of her ; her eagerness 
for bear-hunting was knocked out of her now. The 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

bear died in the belief that it had killed the enemy who 
had first overtaken it and stayed its flight from death. 
It was shot through the head by Ristvedt's second ball, 
fired at a moment when the dogs were timidly holding 
back after Silla had been struck, thereby enabling him 
to fire without hitting one of them. It was a lean 
young she-bear, with no trace of food in her inside, and 
a curious hide-like layer of adipose tissue, almost devoid 
of fat. We had bear-flesh for supper. The soup was 
good, but the flesh was very coarse and stringy. Besides, 
it was so lean that we were soon hungry again, notwith- 
standing the ample helpings. To bring the soup up to 
the proper standard, we ought to have put a good-sized 
lump of seal blubber into the pot. 

The same night we had an illustration of the difficulty 
of o-aueing" the size of things under certain conditions of 
light. We had turned in when Ristvedt thought he 
would have another peep through the little hole in the 
door to see if everything was right, when he saw another 
bear. We opened the door in double-quick time and 
sure enough we saw a dirty yellowish object running 
away on the ice. Per, Bay, and Silla were after it full 
tilt. Contrary to our custom, we had not tied the dogs 
up as the bear we had killed was too large to carry away 
with us, and we did not mind the dogs having a feed 
during the night. In any case they would find it prefer- 
able to sailcloth and tarred rope. Now they were after the 
bear in full chase. They overtook it and then began to 
waltz round it in the same fashion as we had already seen 



earlier in the clay. The waltz suddenly ceased, and the 
dogs came running back towards us, Per carrying the 
'' bear" in its mouth. I don't know whether it was the 
light alone which accounted for this, or defective obser- 
vation during our hurried preparations, or the blind 
sporting fever that undeniably seizes one when confronted 
with such big- o-ame as Kino- Bruin, but we felt rather 
crestfallen at the finish when the "bear" turned out to 
be nothing more than a white fox. Full of the pride of 
victory. Per arrived with the fox in its mouth and laid it 
down. Next day it was consigned to the cooking pot. 
Fox-flesh has a peculiar flavour, and the odour reminds 
one of the smell of a wild beast cage ; apart from this, 
it is, in the matter of fibre, the best meat procurable 
during the winter. Bear is stringy, ptarmigan is tough, 
and reindeer like firewood, but the fox keeps himself in 
good condition all through the winter, so that the fat is 
suitably distributed, and the meat tender. There is not 
much feeding on him, as he is not much bigger than 
a good-sized rabbit. 

It was a trifle troublesome to oet the doos to move 
next morning. May 23rd, just as it had been on the other 
occasions when they had been allowed to eat their fill. 
They groaned and panted in the hot sunshine. But as it 
was nothinor more than the headache followino- the 
debauch, we did not hesitate to use the whip to urge 
them on. We never used it as a rule, and, of course, 
we were more loth to do so when the dogs had been on 
short rations for some time. We made good progress 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

to-day. The temperature had been 14° Fahr., but being 
a beautiful calm day the sun had had sufficient effect on 
the snow to cake it under the runners. The dogs suffered 
from the heat, so we decided to drive durino- the nio-ht in 

On May 25th it was fine all the day, and we expected 
the best results from our latest march ; but we had hardly 
made a start in the evening before a bank of clouds rose 
very rapidly over the northern horizon. It was just as 
though the sun fell from the clouds, so quickly did they 
gather. Before we could count ten the beautiful evening, 
with the glowing midnight sun and golden purple clouds, 
with all its other glories, had changed into a cold, 
clammy, dismal, dark autumn night. We had to get 
along, however, as we meant to cover another twenty 
miles. Now and then we adjusted our course by a pocket 
compass. To judge from appearances we were on a 
bay ; the ice was quite smooth. Soon after midnight we 
reached land, and then the foij lifted a little. To our 
astonishment we saw land on all sides of us. We had 
driven into a bay that was completely land-locked. We 
called it " Greely Harbour." This would be a splendid 
winter-harbour ; it is the only good one on the coast. 
There was plenty of deep water as we could see by two 
or three large masses of sea-ice that had found their way 
into the bay ; they must have been submerged quite 
five fathoms. The land on the west side of the bay was 
high, and that on the east side also. Between two slopes 
there was a very low narrow isthmus, over which we 

VOL. II. 353 2 A 


drove out on to the sea-ice again, and thence we followed 
the coast northwards. Unfortunately it did not clear up 
after all. The fog again enveloped everything, gloomy, 
cold and clammy. This damped my courage. Why 
struggle to advance, when we could not even see land, 
and the most we could have done was only a matter of 
another couple of miles. So we halted and went into 
camp off a low rocky headland, very much like all the 
others we had passed. This we called " Hansen's 

Who has not at some time in his life stood over- 
powered with the conviction, " Thus far and no farther." 
Those who have, know how depressing it is. We had 
lone recognised that we could not reach our g-oal. When 
we were labouring and toiling over the pack ice out on 
Victoria Strait we had more than once remarked that we 
would content ourselves with one or two days' journey 
along new land ; but although we had done a good deal 
more than that, still we were rather disappointed at not 
having reached Glenelg Bay. We had to leave the 
hundred miles separating us from it, in their untrodden 
virgin whiteness. We did not conquer them. 

On that day when I closed my journal with the words : 
" Thus far and no farther," I felt almost as if the whole 
of our labour had been wasted. When " Forward " 
is your watchword your muscles are tense, your heart 
beats, the blood courses through your veins, your head 
is erect, and your form upright. But " Backward " seems 
to turn you at once into a decrepit old man. It was 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

some days before we could again reconcile ourselves to 
the words of Bjornson's poem : 

" Loft dit Hoved, du raske Gut ! 
Om et Halb eller to blev brudt, 
Blinker et nyt i dit Oje." 

We prepared the following document to be left in a 
cairn : — - 

" A sledge expedition from the Norwegian ' Gjoa ' 
Expedition reached this point on May 26th, 1905, and 
named it ' Cape Nansen.' 

" It is situated 72° 2' N., 104° 45' W. (Greenwich). 

" The coast appears to continue in a N.W. direction. 

" We are returning to the ship on this date. 
"Cape Nansen, May 26th, 1905. 

" GoDFRED Hansen. 
" Per Ristvedt." 

Turning " back," as I have said, makes one feel old 
and broken up, but turning " homeward " is quite a 
different thing, We were now going home, home in 
real earnest. Cape Nansen was our farthest point ; the 
return journey would not terminate in Gjoahavn, it would 
continue in the " Gjoa " as soon as the ice opened — 
then onward, homeward. 

At Cape Nansen we secured a bear. It was on the 
26th, in the evening, just as I was preparing to strike 
camp. Ristvedt looked out through the door of the 
tent. But, instead of the sledges and the dogs forming 
a crescent round the tent, and the fading outline of some 

355 2 A 2 


hummocks, and beyond grey nothingness, snow and ice 
melting into a haze : instead of all this, he saw a bear 
standino- some ten feet from the entrance to the tent. 
The rifle was always lying in the tent, loaded. In an 
instant Ristvedt picked it up and fired. The bear fell, 
but got up again and hobbled away on the pack ice. 
The blood was running from its throat. We rushed out, 
barefooted as we were, to loose the dogs. But our 
hurry was unnecessary. The bear only got some thirty 
paces away, and then rolled over stone dead. 

May 27th. — The land north of Cape Nansenwas again 
quite flat. To the south I could see the high land 
surrounding Greely Harbour. The most prominent, 
however, was Mount Ovidias towering high above the 
perfectly level plain extending for miles round its base. 
It is the most easily recognised point on the entire 
coast. I then returned to the tent, and our homeward 
journey began. 

At Cape Anker we turned into Denmark Fjord, and 
passed the night on Cloette Island, some ten miles up 
the fjord. Although the weather was clear, we could 
not as yet see the far end of the fjord, and we made up 
our minds to proceed some distance further up next day. 
According to the map I had sketched on our outward 
journey, there should be a neck of land farther in, about 
four miles wide, between Homan's Bay and Denmark 
Fjord. I wanted to drive over there to check the work, 
which had been carried out only by means of bearings 
taken from the outside. 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

It was surprising to notice, as we proceeded along the 
coast, how quickly the fine weather altered the appear- 
ance of the land. On June ist, the sun, which was now- 
visible in the sky throughout the day, was shining with 
its full force on the snow, melting it, and laying bare the 
black earth beneath. As yet there were no running 
streams apparent, but the snow-heaps continued to 
diminish every day. In places that were thinly covered 
it disappeared altogether, so that the hill crests became 
almost black. We soon began camping on the ground,, 
as we found that the warmth of our bodies penetrated 
through our sleeping bags and the tent floor and melted 
the snow, so that the bags became damp. Camping on 
bare ground was therefore preferable. Even if the bed 
were not so smooth as it mioht have been, we were not 
so particular as the " Princess " in the story of the " Pea," 
and we did not mind putting up with a small stone or so 
in our beds. We saw hares while proceeding down 
along the coast, often three to four at a time. Some of 
them found their way into our pot. It was difficult, 
however, to eet within sfun rano-e, and we dared not be 
too reckless with our ammunition. It was meant for 
bigger game. Off Cape Kofoed Hansen, we shot 
another bear. 

On June 5th we passed " Rae's Cairn " Island and 
found our depot all right. The lemmings had had a 
few mouthfuls, but not more than we could very well 
spare. This is, I may say, an animal for which I have 
a certain amount of respect. Should anyone wound its 



spirit of independence by crossing its path, it resolutely 
rises on its hind legs, with its back against a stone if 
possible. Sitting on its hind legs it fights with its fore 
paws in the air, for all the world like a bear, ready to sell 
its life as dearly as possible. As you stand in front of it, 
towering into the skies, while the tiny creature only 
reaches to your ankle, you can scarcely help laughing at 
such a curious exhibition of courage. Nevertheless, it 
commands respect. We reached our depot of bearded 
seal on the ice next morning. It took us some time to 
discover it. 

On June nth, just after midnight, we drove on, along 
Tayler Island. We found traces of two Eskimo sledges 
going south, and we followed them, hoping to overtake 
the Eskimo. For some reason or other, however, they 
must have been in a hurry to get south. Possibly they 
were to meet kinsmen and had postponed the journey as 
long as possible, hoping that we would return. They 
had made no halt for the night all the way down to 
Dehaven Point. From there we crossed straight over 
to Lind Island, which was prominently visible to the 
south. We halted for the day in the middle of the 

On June 14th we tackled the pack-ice. I had thought 
of it with some misgivings, in view of the possible scars 
and inevitable exertions. We were, however, let off 
easily. In two days we reached the " Land seen by 
Rae." On the first day in the pack-ice we caught a 
seal. It was most welcome, as the bearded seal blubber 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

had become somewhat rancid. We had, in fact, seen 
many seals since we began camping in the open. On 
smooth floes of somewhat considerable extent one could 
be certain of seeing seals that had come up to bask in 
the sun. They were very shy, and it was only possible 
to get within shooting range in places where heaps of 
pack-ice had accumulated conveniently. 

We reached land early in the morning of the 15th. It 
was only an islet, but we sighted land, large and small 
islands, to the north, south, and east. It was quite 
summer on the islet, hardly any snow, fresh green moss, 
ptarmigan and eider-ducks. To us it seemed quite 
a regular little paradise, and we named it Princess 
Ineebore's Island. I determined its longitude and 
latitude. The charting of the other islands was done in 
a somewhat perfunctory manner ; as we were, in fact, 
in somewhat reduced circumstances. We cooked with 
blubber, as we wanted to save up the remaining half-pint 
of petroleum lest we should get such bad weather some 
day as to make cooking outdoors impossible. Our 
supply of bread was exhausted, and we had only two 
rations of chocolate left. They would soon be anxiously 
awaitino- us at home. All this caused me to hasten our 

We made a day's journey of twenty-one miles south, 
passing between a great number of islands and islets. 
For the last two or three miles we drove over a Strait — 
Markham Strait — and I had an idea that there must be 
sufficient depth for the " Gjoa." We reached Bryde's 



Island, south of the Strait, from the top of which I sighted 
several islands to the south, and at the farthest point, pro- 
bably about fifteen miles off, high hilly land, apparently 
an island of some extent. I had an idea of examining the 
group of islands farther southwards, and had started to do 
so, but thinking that the group extended right to the main- 
land, I concluded that the task would take too long, con- 
sidering the advanced season, and I therefore altered our 
course northwards again, to the east of the islands. 

We named the group south of Bryde's Island "Norden- 
skjold's Islands." The group north of Markham Strait 
was named " Royal Geographical Society's Islands," and 
the most prominent points of the islands were given 
English names. This seemed to us the most appropriate, 
as the land was first sighted by an Englishman. 

On our way along the east coast we lost a dog. 
Ristvedt had taken it out of the team, as it was impos- 
sible to make it work, and it only caused trouble among 
the other dogs. He was a reddish coated dog, with 
short legs, answering the name of " Inagsayak." He 
had been lazy all the time, and, as the dogs had for some 
time been fed on blubber mixture, it had grown rather 
fat. It followed behind the sledge for a time, but at last 
even this was too much for it ; it lay down on the ice 
and there it remained. We saw no more of it. We 
fully expected it to turn up at our tent in the evening, 
but it did not. It must have died there. Our con- 
sciences pricked us a little at first, but there was, 
apparently, nothing the matter with it when unharnessed. 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

We therefore consoled ourselves with the thought that 
if it had died, its death was due to its own laziness. 

On June i8th we started off across Alexandra Strait. 
The snow in the pack ice had altered in a deplorable 
manner. The crust of ice formed during the night was 
not thick enough to carry us and the dogs, but, fortu- 
nately, the sledges floated on the surface, and we made 
some progress after all. At Cape Crozier we found our 
reindeer-meat, our petroleum and our chocolate, all in 
good order. Our privations were at an end. We now 
had the smooth ice of Simpson Strait to drive on, and 
made quick marches along the coast. 

One thing, however, was very embarrassing at this 
late season : our dogs got bad feet. The snow was off 
the ice, and the ice-water had rendered the surface rough 
and uneven, with numberless small perpendicular icicles, 
which injured the dogs' feet. There was blood on the 
track after them, and one after the other they had to be 
unharnessed — first Mylius, then Gjoa, then Silla. We 
just managed to get them to follow behind our sledges. 
If travelling is unavoidable when the ice is in an advanced 
state of thaw, the dogs should be provided with suitable 
foot-o^ear, otherwise the work is too much for them. 
After a time, as we advanced, the features of the landscape 
gradually became more familiar. We had often visited 
the coast as far as the narrow part of the Strait. After 
passing Todd Island, and turning into Peterson's Bay, 
we began to feel quite at home. Our last camp was at 
Svartheia (the Black Mountain). 



On the morning of June 25th we started on our last 
ten miles. Our sledge-flag, which had become somewhat 
tattered, floated over the sledge from the end of a ski. 
We intended to be seen by those on board at the earliest 
moment, and they soon saw it, as they were anxiously 
looking out for us. At 7 a.m. the flag was hoisted on 
board. Lund was on the look-out that morning, and had 
seen us immediately. We learned afterwards how many 
times they had looked out for us on the ice, but in vain, 
nothing- but the level ice and Todd Island in the distance 
dancing up and down in the haze ; but finally we arrived. 
We entered the mouth of the harbour at 8 o'clock and 
soon reached the vessel. The dogs had suddenly recog- 
nised the place, and realised that they were going to have 
a thorough rest. A man came down from the vessel, 
advancing towards us with lono- strides. It was the 
Commander. " God dag og velkommen " (" Good-day 
and welcome "), said he, and welcome we were, that was 

The journey was at an end. It had been a trying trip ; 
you have to keep wide awake when travelling in the 
deserts. Ever such a little blunder and you may lose 
your life. A mistake means death. However, it is a 
manly life ; you feel free when out there, where will is 
law even though it is hard, for the road is strewn with 
difficulties. One makes acquaintance with hunger, cold, 
wet and fatigue. The fare is frugal. You have to say 
good-bye to cleanliness, when every drop of water has to 

be produced at the expense of the most precious of all 


Towards King Haakon VII's Land. 

your possessions, fuel. However, on you go, and every 
mile covered seems another victory. And life : La vie 
nest pas tut plaiseur ni une dotdeur, mais une affaire 
grave, dont nous sommes charg^e, et qiiil faiit conduire et 
terminer d notre honneur'' 

We had achieved this ; we had charted another stretch 
of coast on the blank part of the Northern Hemisphere ; 
we had caused new land to be trodden by the foot of 
man, and had made this land, its geology, its physical 
conditions, and its geography known. During our 
journey we had covered 800 miles. 

Cone his ion. 

As I sat out there on my sledge, without any guide- 
post ahead of me, the runners of my sledge making the 
first tracks through those fields of snow, I often thought 
it would be a good subject to write about on my return 
home. It seemed to me that our journey was not with- 
out importance. Though the coast along which we drove 
was stern, stormy, foggy, and ice-bound both in summer 
and winter, though the land we wrested from the realm 
of darkness, and mapped out on our chart was barren 
and stony, shorn of natural beauty, useless to mankind, 
yet it seemed to me that the infinite wastes gave birth to 
conceptions of greatness, beauty, and goodness. This 
was to be my theme. I desired so to write that those 
who would read might enrich their ideas and gain some 
impressions, at least, of the Stupendous, such as were 
conveyed to me in those pathless regions, where God's 



sun or the bright stars alone point the way. Now that 
I have come to the end of my task, I realise how little I 
have been able to offer, because the thoughts that to me 
were overwhelming, are such as find expression in the 
soul rather than on the lips. If, however, I have, to 
some extent, succeeded in telling the story of two men 
and twelve dogs wading through snow, crawling over 
ice, resting in the lonely tent, exposed to the winds ; if 
I have only once succeeded in faintly picturing the 
impressions produced by what is seen out there in the 
endless expanse, in storm and in sunshine, I shall have 
done something more than add to the chart a few miles 
of land north of " Collinson's Farthest." 



Addendum by Captain Roald Amundsen. 
I desire to express my most respectful and hearty 
thanks to all those who have lent their kind support to 
the " Gjoa" Expedition by contributions of money, goods, 
or presents, or by undertaking guarantees. 

H.M. King Haakon VII . 

H.M. King Oscar II .... 

The Norwegian Government 

Mr. N. A. Stang, Merchant 

Mr. P. M. Anker, Landed Proprietor 

Mr. Mads Wiel, Merchant 

His Excellency Fridtjof Nansen, Minister of State 

The Nansen Fund 

Mrs. Olava Christiansen .... 

Mr. W. Nygaard, Publisher 

Mr. Haaken Mathiesen, Chamberlain 

Anonymous ...... 

Royal Geographical Society 
Mr. K. R. Berg, Manufacturer . 

Mr. Kristen Irgens, B.A 

Mr. Gunnar Knudsen, President of the Storting 

The Ostlandske Petroleums Co. 

Mr. C. H. Homan, Barrister . 

Mr. Ths. Fearnley, Master of the Royal Hunt 

Mr. T. H. Schjelderup, Merchant . 

Mr. Johs. G. Heftye, Telegraph Director . 

Mrs. Evenstad 

Christiania Soforsikringsselskab 

Mr. Hans Kjaer, Merchant 

Mr. Carl Lovenskiold, Minister of State 

Mr. M. W. Stand, Consul .... 

Mr. Axel Heiberg, Consul 

Carried forward 







. 40,000 








5 5,000 










































120,300 00 


Brought forward 
Mr. Joh. Thorne, Councillor of State 
Mr. Ellef Ringnes, Brewery Proprietor 
Messrs. O. Mustad and Son . 
Mr. Chr. Schou, Manufacturer 
Mr. Thv. Meyer, Merchant . 
Miss Harriet Wedel Jarlsberg . 
Mr. J. C. Juel, Merchant 
Mr. H. F. Dessen, Merchant, London 
Mr. Th. Fagelund, Shipowner, London . 
Mr. Jacob Hessler, Merchant, West Hartlepool 
Mr. J. Jorgensen, Merchant, London 
"A Friend," through Mr. Fagelund, Shipowner 
Mr. J. C. Pharo, Merchant, London 
Mr. Johan. Anker, Engineer ... 
Mr. J. Hoist, Merchant, through Mr. Fagelund, 
Shipowner ...... 

Mr. J. W. Constantin Schroter, Cardiff . 
Mr. L. W, Longstaff .... 

Union Internationale, Antwerp, through Kjeld 
Stud and Co. ..... 

Through Mr. Arvid Bergvall — 

Kgl. Oct. S6-Assurance Kompagnie 

The British Dominion Marine Insurance Co 

AUgemeine Seeversicherungs Gesellschaft 


About " . ■ . 
















































Contributions in the shape of Goods and Instruments. 

Provisions and instruments from Mr. Axel Heiberg, 
Consul, and Messrs. Ringnes Brothers. 

Instruments from the Meteorological Institute and the 
Astronomical Observatory, also from the International 
Central Laboratory for the Study of the Sea. 



Chocolate from Messrs. Brodrena Cloetta. 

Tobacco from Mr. J. L. Tiedemann (Mr. Joh. H. 
Andresen), and Johs. N. With's Tobaksfabrik A. G. 

Matches from the Nitedals Taendstiksfabrik. 

Drugs from Mr. Ths. O. Alstad, Chemist, and 
Mr. Tillier, Chemist. 

Medicine Chest Outfit from Messrs. Nyegaard and 

Surp"ical Instruments and Dressings from Mr. Christian 

Instruments from Mr. Fr. AuQf. Michelet. 

Gunpowder from the Nitedal Powder Factory. 

Books from Messrs. H. Aschehoug and Co., Mr. Jacob 
Dybwad, and Messrs. Feilberg and Landmark. 

Christmas and Birthday presents from relatives, friends, 
and acquaintances. 

Loan and Guarantees. 

Bank Loan through Mr. O. Ditlev-Simonsen, Ship- 
owner, with the following Joint Guarantors : — 

Mr. Einar Bjornson, Director. 
Mr. Hans. Br. Blehr, Shipbroker. 
Mr. Johan Bryde, Shipowner. 
Mr. Ludwig Castberg, Shipowner. 
Mr. Joachim Greig, Shipowner. 
Mr. Ivor Klaveness, Shipowner. 
Mr. Fred Olsen, Shipowner. 
Mr. Th. Pedersen, Shipowner. 
Mr. Hj. Siegwarth, Shipowner. 
Mr. D. Ditlev-Simonsen, Shipowner. 
Mr. Chr. P. Staubo, Shipowner. 


Cash loan, free of interest, from Jens Amundsen, 
Shipowner of Fredrikshald, i,ooo kr. 

Loan on bills through Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, Minister : — 


Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, Minister . 


Mrs. Evenstad, Widow 


Mr. Jobs. Heftye, Banker . 


Captain Scott-Hansen, R.N. 


Total ..... 14,000 

Guarantee for payment of debt, through Mr. C. H, 
Homan, Barrister, to the amount of 2,120 kr. 65 ore. 




Abva (Mount Matheson), (i) i8o, 182, 

203, 230, 232. 
Barren waste, with sand and stones, (i) 

Achievements of previous Expeditions in 

discovery of North West Passage — - 

achievements which were of value in 

planning and executing "Gjoa" 

Expedition, (ii) 102-6. 
for particular Expeditions, refer to their 

Achievements of the " Gjoa " Expedition. 
North West Passage accomplished, (ii) 

120, 125. 
Victoria Land — sledge expedition for 

charting unknown land, refer to title 

Victoria Land. 
Achliechtu and Achlieu Islands, (i) 178, 

196, 199, 200 ; (ii) 296. 
Adams and Milne — Scotch whalers, (i) 

22, 39, 41. 
Adelaide, Cape — 
Description of, (ii) 332. 
Magnetic North Pole of James Ross, (i) 

Adelaide Peninsula — Boundary of 

Eskimo tribe, (i) 292. 
Admiralty Island, (ii) 329. 
Adolf Schmidt's Hill, or St. John's Hill, 

(i) 209. 
Aerial ropeway, construction of, to 

facilitate unloading stores at Gjoa- 

havn, (i) 93, 94. 
Ahiva, Eskimo and his wife Alerpa — 

exchange of wife incident, (i) 

Air in Polar regions — not absolutely pure 

and free from bacilli round King 

William Land — epidemic of colds 

among Eskimo, (i) 250. 
Akla, Eskimo and his wife Pandora — 

married life of, etc., (i) 307, 308, 

Amundsen's, Captain, post journey, see 

title, Herschel Island to Eagle 

Mail carriers — superior sledge drivers, 

etc., (ii) 244. 

Alaska {cont.) — 
Prices, high prices of commodities, (ii) 

Road houses ("hotels") met with from 

Circle City, description of, charges, 

etc., (ii) 244, 245. 
Alaska Coast — ice and ice conditions, 

attempts made to get into open 

channel, (ii) 254, 258-9, 266, 

No further traces of ice seen off Cape 

Belcher, (ii) 284. 
Albert Edward Bay, (ii) 329, 331, 332, 

Alcohol, benefit of under certain con- 
ditions — rum drunk on sledge ex- 
pedition to Victoria Land, (ii) 307, 

308, 309. 
Aleingan— grey-haired Eskimo, chief of 

his tribe, and reputation as magician, 

(i) 320, 321. 
Aleingarlu — boy Eskimo, (i) 257. 
"Alexander" — American whaler com- 
manded by Captain Tilton, (ii) 250, 

251, 252, 253. 
Passed by the " Goja "—assistance 

offered, etc., (ii) 136, 141. 
Visit of Captain Amundsen to Herschel 

Island, (ii) 164, 212, 215. 
Alexandra Strait, (ii) 319, 361. 
Alfred, Cape, (ii) 299. 
Alice Hill, (ii) 341. 
Alvert, John— Indian merchant met with 

at Porcupine River, (ii) 238. 
American charts obtained from Captain 

McKenna, value of, (ii) 130. 
American whalers, see title Whale 

Hunting, a/so names of ships. 
Amgudyu, Eskimo and his wire 

Kimaller, (i) 318. 
Amundsen, Captain Roald — 
Brothers of, assistance rendered by, (i) 

6, 14. 
Foot trouble resulting in Captain 

Amundsen lying up, (i) 186. 
Inspiration to achieve the North West 

Passage, (i) 4. 
Training for Arctic Exploration, (i) 

4, 5- 


2 B 


Anakto, Eskimo from Herschel Island, 

(ii) 192. 
Anana, Eskimo — mother of the " Owl," 

(i) 163, 193, 224, 226, 244, 315. 
Anchors — ice anchors used along Alaska 

Coast, (ii) 278, 
Andreson, gunmaker, Tromso — name on 

lock found at Beechey Island, (ii) 

Anglo-American Polar Expedition — 

welcoming the " Gjoa " at Barrow 
Point, (ii) 282. 
Animal life — 
Re-appearance following first winter 

sojourn at Gjoahavn, (i) 157. 
refe7' also to titles. Foxes, Reindeers, 
Lemmings, Bears, etc. 
Anker, Cape, (ii) 356. 
Arctic Ocean — current near Point 
Barrow, risk of involuntary trip to 
North Pole, (ii) 279. 
Arnana, Eskimo, (ii) 75. 
Astrup, Eivind — member of Peary 

Expedition, (i) 45. 
Atangala, Eskimo — Visit to Gjoahavn, 
English spoken by Atangala, acting 
as post-boy, etc., (i) 263-8, 271 ; (ii) 
Atikleura — Nechilli Eskimo — 
Black eye inflicted by Talurnakto 

incident, (ii) 61. 
Meeting with on sledge expedition 
towards Matty Island, (i) 164-72, 
Snow hut construction — Atikleura as 

master builder, (ii) 3. 
Tent and tent-circle constructed by — 

model tent, etc., (i) 298. 
Visit to Gjoahavn — salmon and seal 
blubber bought for the Expedition, 
etc., (ii) 58. 
Auks — 
Cape Belcher — auks seen off, (ii) 285. 
Cape York — shooting enough birds for 

a dinner, (i) 38. 
Melville Bay — convoys of little auks 
seen near, (i) 36. 
Aurora Borealis, (ii) 170, 225, 234. 
Autumn — 
Eskimo*s most dismal season, (i) 329, 

Season — autumn not recognised by 

Eskimo, (ii) 47. 
Auva — Eskimo woman, death of, (i) 257. 
Axel Steen's Hill — visits to investigate 

ice conditions in connection with 

departure from Gjoahavn, (ii) loi. 

Baffin Bay — circumnavigating by Bylot 
and Baffin, (ii) 102. 

Bailey Island — passing of the "Gjoa," 
etc., (ii) 134, 170, 195. 

Barrow Point, (ii) 256, 265, 279. 
Arrival of the "Gjoa" — ships welcom- 
ing, etc., (ii) 282. 

Barrow Strait ■ — fog encountered, (i) 

Bartering with Eskimo, refer to Eskimo. 

Bathing facilities on board the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 202. 
American steam bath used — advantages 

of, etc., (i) 258. 
Bathurst, Cape — ice conditions, passing 

of the " Gjoa," (ii) 132-4. 
Beads, no market value among Eskimo 

women until made into trinkets, 

(ii) 58. 
Bears — 
Hunting by Eskimo — division of spoil 
among those taking part in hunt, 
(ii) 41. 
Shooting — 
Franklin Bay, (ii) 131. 
Victoria Land Expedition, (ii) 348-51, 

Tracks of she-bear with young seen near 
Gjoahavn — first track seen, (i)' 

Bearskin — ^gift from Nechilli Eskimo, 

Atikleura, (i) 170. 
Beaufort Islands, (i) 63. 
Stranding of the " Gjoa " off low island 

southernmost of Beaufort Islands, 

(i) 62. 
Beauvais, American — employed on board 

the " Gjoa," (ii) 199. 
Beechey Island — 
Arrival of the " Gjoa," (i) 47. 
Chart made by Commander PuUen in 

1854, (i) 49. 
Departure of the " Gjoa," (i) 55. 
Depot (Northumberland House) erected 

by PuUen for Sir E. Belcher's 

squadron, remains of — relics taken 

by members of Captain Amundsen's 

Expedition, etc., (i) 50, 51. 
Description of — absence of life and 

vegetation, (i) 51. 
Exploring, fossils collected, etc. , (i) 49. 
Franklin's last safe winter quarters, (i) 


Graves of members of Franklin Expe- 
dition, condition of, (i) 55. 

Magnetic observations taken, (i) 46, 

Marble slab erected by M'Clintock on 
behalf of Lady Franklin, (i) 51. 



Beechey Island {cont.) — 

Position of tent pitched by Captain 

Amundsen — spot marked and 

account of progress of expedition 

deposited in tin case, (i) 53. 

Behring Sea, whale hunting in — first 

bowhead whale caught, (ii) 257. 
Behring, Vitus — discoverer of Behring 

Strait, (ii) 103. 
Belcher, Cape— ice lost sight of, (ii) 284. 
Belcher, Sir E. , (i) 50. 
Belgian Antarctic Expedition under 
Adrien de Gerlache — Captain 
Amundsen as mate, (i) 5- 
Bellot, Lieutenant — memorial tablet on 

Beechy Island, (i) 51. 

Bellot Strait — M'Clintock's two years' 

sojourn, point reached by the 

" Gjoa," (i) 59. _ 

" Belvedere" — American whaler, (ii) 270. 

Bernier, Captain of " The Arctic " — ^letter 

to Captain Amundsen, (ii) 70. 
Eetz )'d's Point, 7-efer to Von Betzold's 

Beverly Islands, (i) 67. 
Big Halibut Bank ("Store Hellefish- 
bank") — icebergs encountered, (i) 26. 
Bird life- 
Absence of — Melville Bay, (i) 36. 
Migrating birds — flights of, indicating 

commencement of winter, (i) 236. 
Numbers met with — 
Gjoahavn, (i) 84. 
Hansen's Hill, (i) 224. 
Kaa-aak-ka, (i) 200. 
Nordligste Nordhcii, (i) 205. 
Shooting at King Point, (ii) 206. 
for particular birds, see their names. 
Black Hill, (ii) 306. 
Blood pudding — Eskimo dish, (i) 208, 

Blow-hole, notorious narrow pass — 
journey from Herschel Island to 
Fort Yukon, (ii) 227. 
Blubber, refe7- to Seal Blubber. 
Blue-bottles, swarms of, in Eskimo tents, 

(i) 306. 
" Bonanza" — American whaler, (ii) 257. 
Wreck of, at King Point, (ii) 138. 
Ship visited by Captain Amundsen, 
and articles of use carried to the 
" Gjcia," (ii) 142, 143. 
Bones and skulls of white men met with 
■ — remains of Franklin Expedition, 
etc. — 
Hall Point — bones collected and put 

under cairn, (ii) 109, 297, 310. 
Hunger Bay, (i) 252. 
Todd's Island, (i) 257. 

Bones of reindeer and fish — Eskimo's 

superstition, (i) 329. 
Booth Point- 
Eskimo camp, (i) 99. 
Fog encountered, (ii) 107. 
Boothia, coast of — lack of interesting 

features, (i) 185, 186. 
Boothia Felix, (i) 63, 68, 75. 
Character of land — variation from high 

granite to low limestone, (i) 61. 
Depot erected northward of Cape 

Christian Frederik, (i) 184. 
Eskimo tribes and their boundaries — 
home of the Nechilli Eskimo, (i) 292, 
Observations made along the coast, dis- 
crepancies — -establishing depot for 
sledge tour in autumn, (i) 228. 
Sledge stolen by Eskimo and afterwards 
returned, (i) 288. 
Botanical collections made on Herschel 

Island, (ii) 259. 
" Bowhead" — American whaler, (ii) 250, 
271, 272. 
Passed by the "Gjoa" — assistance 
offered, (ii) 136. 
Bows and arrows used by Eskimo, (i) 

Bread baking on board the "Gjoa," 
etc. — 
Fresh bread and rolls supplied by Lind- 

strom, (ii) 269. 
Quantity baked before leaving King 

Point, (ii) 250. 
Syrup, bread made with, kept best, (ii) 
Bryde's Island, (ii) 359, 360. 
Building material, packing cases as — first 
time used in Polar regions as building 
material, (i) iii. 
Buildings constructed at Gjoahavn, refer 
to Gjoahavn, aha title Magnetic 
Bylot and Baffin's Expedition, (ii) 102, 

Cadzow, Mr. D. — Hospitality to Captain 
Amundsen at Porcupine River, (ii) 
Deposit of Reports as arranged with 

Nansen, object of, etc., (i) 75. 
Gjoahavn — traces of Eskimo habitation, 

(i) 83. 
King William Land, (i) 188. 
Victoria Land Expedition — 
Cairn built of slabs of limestone met 
with, (ii) 339, 340. 


2 B 2 


Cairns [coiit.) — 
Victoria Land Expedition (conf.) — 
Cairns erected by the Expedition, (ii) 
85, 342, 346, 348, 355. 
Cambridge Bay — 
Anchoring of the " Gjoa " on west side 

of Cape Colborne, (ii) 120. 
Unnavigated portion of North West 

Passage, (ii) 61. 
Winter quarters of CoUinson Expedition, 
(ii) 105. 
Camden Bay, (ii) 274. 
Carr, Mr. J. — Merchant met with at 
Fort Yukon — hospitality to Captain 
Amundsen, (ii) 241, 246. 
Celebrating the final accomplishment of 
the North West Passage by ship — 
first cup drank on board the " Gjoa," 
(ii) 286. 
" Charles Hansen," American whaler 
commanded by Captain McKenna — 
Desertion of members of crew, (ii) 189. 
First welcome of the Expedition on 
getting through the North West 
Passage, (ii) 125-31. 
Stuck on the ice off Toker Point, (ii) 
Charlie, Indian guide — character, etc., 

(ii) 242, 243. 
Charting land, etc., by the Expedition, 

refer to names of places. 
Charts — 
American charts obtained from Captain 

McKenna, value of, etc., (ii) 130. 
Faulty charts — 
Boothia — island on James Ross' Chart 
which proved to be part of mainland, 
(i) 63. 
I Draughtsmen misled by snow, (i) 77. 
Island not charted — land mistaken for 

Ogle Point, (i) 99. 
Parry Skerry wrongly marked, (i) 33. 
Chesterfield Inlet, (ii) 76. 
Chilblains and frostbites discomforts, (i) 

. 156, 173. 177- 
Children of Eskimo, refer to Eskimo. 
Christian Frederik, Cape, (i) 174. 
Anchor of the " Gjoa" to leeward of — 
deposit of Report in cairn, collection 
of fossils, etc., (i) 75, 76. 
Dep6t laid down in connection with 

sledge expedition, (i) 159, 184. 
Eskimo tents, remains of, (i) 76. 
Running aground, danger of, (i) 76, ']']. 
Sea bottom changes from rock to clay — 
difficulties of detecting shoals, (i) Tj. 
Christian Mikkelsen, Cape, (ii) 344. 
Christiania — Nansen's return from Green- 
land Expedition — rejoicings, (i) 4. 

Christmas, preparations for — festivities, 
etc. — 
First Christmas, (i) 126-31. 
Second Christmas, (i) 274. 
Third Christmas, (ii) 179. 
Circle City — 
Description of, (ii) 243. 
Fort Yukon mails, terminal point, (ii) 
Clerk Island — -not sighted, (ii) 124. 
Climatic conditions — 
Gjoahavn, summer at, (i) 228, 236, 297, 

329 ; (ii) 99. 
King Point, spring and summer at, (ii) 

181, 189, 198, 207, 208, 2o'9. 
Victoria Land, (ii) 319, 336, 341, 344, 

345> 353- 
refer also to titles Fog, Storms en- 
countered, etc. 
Cloette Island, (ii) 356. 
Eskimo, clothes worn by, refer to title 

Foot gear, see that title. 
Skin clothing — 
Exchanging underclothing with Eskimo 

Atikleura, (i) 169. 
Obtaining sealskin clothing by barter 

with Eskimo off Greenland, (i) 34. 
Reindeer skins, converting into under- 
clothing — preparing skins, etc., (i) 
Utility of clothes made of deerskin for 
winter use — how they should be 
made, etc., (i) 149 ; (ii) 90. 
Thick underclothing served out at God- 

havn, (i) 33- . . 

Woollen underclothing with seal-skin 
outer clothing, suitability of for 
summer wear, (ii) 90. 
Coal — relic of Franklin Depot at Beechey 

Island, (i) 51. 
Cod fishing by the Eskimo, (i) 317 ; (ii) 
Number of cod in Hunger Bay, (i) 255. 
Colbourne, Cape (Dease Strait), (ii) 299. 

Anchoring of the " Gjoa" at, (ii) 120. 
Cold — autumn and spring cold felt most, 

(i) 256. 
Cold storage provided on the stranded 

"Bonanza," (ii) 186. 
Eskimo suffering from, (ii) 187, 188. 
Epidemic in regions around King 
William Land, (i) 250. 
Members of the Expedition suffering 
from, at King Point, (ii) 160. 
Coleen River, (ii) 234. 
CoUett, Professor, (i) 219. 



Collinson Expedition, (ii)6i, 120,121,274. 
Achievements, (ii) 105, 106. 
Bay recorded — Victoria Land, (ii) 336. 
No real bay where Collinson had 
charted it, (ii) 341. 
Collinson's Farthest, (ii) 299, 307, 341. 
Colville, Cape, (i) 78. 
Comer, captain of the " Era " — letter and 
gift of dogs to Captain Amundsen, 

(ii) 75- . 
Communications from and with the out- 
side world — 

Barrow Point — letters, parcels, etc., 
awaiting the " Gjcia," (ii) 283. 

Herschel Island, letters, etc., received 
at, (ii) 271. 

King Point — letters and newspapers 
received while wintering at, (ii) 162, 
165, 179, 180. 

Letters entrusted to Atangala to meet 
vessels at Cape Fullerton and 
Hudson Bay, (i) 267, 268 ; (ii) 76. 

Mail expedition to Eagle City — tele- 
graphic communication with home 
and letters and papers received, (ii) 
245, 246. • 

Tin box containing letters, news cuttings, 
etc. , sent by Major Moodie and cap- 
tains of the "Arctic" and "Era," 

(ii) 70, 75- 
Wiik's death — telegram which never 
reached its destination, (ii) 198. 
Compass — 
Commencing to move again after passing 

through Eta Strait, (ii) 121. 
Floating compass by E. S. Ritchie — 

excellent compass, (i) 55. 
Pocket compass used on sledge expedi- 
tion to Victoria Land, (ii) 353. 
Refusing to act off Prescott Island in 
Franklin Strait — resorting to steering 
by stars, (i) 57. 
Sun as compass, (i) 60. 
Unreliable compass due to iron in 
mountains, etc., (ii) 125. 
Phenomenon well-known on west coast 
of Greenland, (i) 24, 46. 
Contributions towards Expedition — list 

of contributors, etc., (ii) 365-8. 
Cook, captain of the " Bowhead," (ii) 

136, 250. 
Cook, Captain J. — Icy Cape discovered 

by, (ii) 103. 
Cook on board the " Gjoa," refer to 

Hansen and Lindstrom. 
Cooking stove used, refer to " Primus." 
Coppermine River — Kilnermium Eskimo 
race living near, (i) 247, 292 ; (ii) 
327-30- . 

Court, Cape, on North Somerset — first 
large accumulation of ice encoun- 
tered, (i) 56. 
Croker Mountains, (ii), 103. 
Cross Island — passing of the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 276. 
Crozier, Cape — 
Depot erected for sledge expedition — 
Boat trips — depot deposited, etc., (i) 

225, 233, 234, 283 ; (ii) 296, 297. 
Expedition reaches depot, which is 
found to have been robbed by bears, 
(ii) 84, 316, 317, 318. 
Stores deposited by sledge expedition 
found in good order, (ii) 361. 
Franklin Expedition — one of the ships 
found by Eskimo, (ii) 61. 

Dalrymple Rock — 
Eggs — quantities gathered by Eskimo, 

(i) 39- 
Stores deposited by Scotch whalers, 

(i) 39, 41, 42. 
Danish expedition under Mr. Mikkelsen, 

object of expedition, (ii) 271. 
Danish Literary Expedition to Greenland, 

meeting with, (i) 40. 
Darkness, artificial light used all day — 

failure of patent lamps, etc., (i) 


Darrell, Mr. — visit to Captain Amundsen 
at King Point — courageous post- 
journey carried out by, (ii) I95-7- 

Daugaard - Jensen, Inspector — dogs, 
sledges, etc., provided by, (i) 26, 

Davis, John — North West Passage Ex- 
pedition — result, (ii) 102. 

Dawson City — postal communication be- 
tween Fort Yukon and Dawson City 
via Eagle City, (ii) 242. 

De la Guiche Point, on American main- 
land, (i) 77. 

De la Roquette Islands — 
Point at which Sir Allen Young reached 

with the " Pandora," (i) 58, 
Swell under the " Gjoa" — message from 
the open sea, (i) 58. 

De Long, (ii) 279. 

Dease and Simpson Expedition — result, 
(ii) 104. 

Dease Strait, (ii) 105, 299. 
Voyage of the "Gjoa " — through hitherto 
unsolved link in the North West 
Passage, (ii) 120. 

Deck-cargo — cases thrown overboard on 
stranding of the " Gjoa," (i) 69, 



Dehaven Point, (ii) 358. 
Dejnev's Expedition— Result, (ii) 102. 
Demarcation Point, (ii) 270. 
Dennmark Fjord, (ii) 344, 356. 
Dep6ts — 
Beechey Island Depot — warning to 

Arctic travellers, (i) 51. 
Danish Government Depot established 

at Leopoldhavn, (ii) 75. 
Depots deposited by the Expedition 
for sledge expeditions, etc. — 
Abva Depot — left in charge of Eskimo, 

(i) 177- 
Deoot revisited and found intact^ 
(i)' 181. 
Cape Christian Frederik, (i) 184. 
Depot plundered by Eskimo, Kau- 
mallo and Kalakchie, (i) 186. 
Cape Crozier, (i) 234, 283, 297. 
Bears, havoc made by, (ii) 84, 316, 
317, 318. 
Eskimo Dep6ts, mode of constructing, 
(ii) 229. 
*' Devil's Thumb," (i) 35. 
Dietrichsen Point, (ii) 346. 
Diomedes Island sighted — Eskimo tribe 

inhabiting, etc., (ii) 285. 
Dirckinck Holmfeld, Mount, (ii) 345, 

Disco Isle sighted, (i) 26. 
Discovery of North West Passage — 

Franklin as discoverer, (i) 48, 49. 
Dogs — 
Alaska sledge dogs — different kind to 

Polar dogs, (ii) 244. 
Birth of puppies, (i) 125, 260. 
Borrowing by Eskimo at Gjoahavn to 
bring home supplies from dep6ts, 
Deaths among — number of dogs lost, 

(i) 18, 125. 
Eskimo dogs — 
Condition of — badly fed, etc., (i) 329 ; 

(ii^ 30,_ 77. 
Names given to — dogs rechristened by 

Captain Amundsen, (ii) 77. 
Obtaining for sledge expedition, (i) 
Feet — injury caused by thaw, necessity 

for footgear, (ii) 361. 
Fighting among — struggles for supre- 
macy, etc., (i) 16, 19, 151, 155, 162. 
Food, nature of — rations, etc., (i) 16, 

Gifts of dogs from — 
Daugaard-Jensen, Inspector, (i) 29. 
Erichsen, Mylius, (i) 45. 
Sten, C, (ii) 208. 
"The Arctic" and " Era," (ii) 70, 75. 

Dogs [coiit.) — 
Losing — 
Fiks and Syl lost during bear hunt, 

(i) 186. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land — 
dog left behind, (ii) 360. 
Kennels built at Gjoahavn, (i) 107, 

Letting loose on Dalrymple Rock, (i) 

Miserable condition during stay at King 
Point — hunting expedition named 
"Invalid Corps," (ii) 190. 
Number — dogs which had formerly done 
service in the second " Fram " 
Expedition, (i) 15. 
Sledge expeditions — condition and be- 
haviour of dogs, etc., (ii) 239, 306, 
307, 322, 323, 331, 334, 352, 353, 
Tying up securely — problem which was 

never solved, (i) 155. 
Tape-worm — treatment devised by Rist- 

vedt, (i) 157. 
Winter quarters at Gjoahavn — dogs re- 
moved from ship, (i) 93. 
Dolphin and Union Strait — 
Finding narrow sound leading out into 
the straits, difficulties as to^voyage 
of the "Gjoa," (ii) 122, 123. 
Survey by Collinson Expedition, (ii) 
Douglas Bay — passed by the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 109. 
Douglas Island— anchoring of the "Gjoa," 

description of island, etc., (ii) 122. 
Dress, refer to Clothing. 
Dress reform — residence in Polar regions 

suggesting, (ii) 258. 
Drifting of the "Gjoa" in the Rae 

Straits, (i) 78. 
Driftwood — 
Absence of, in Nechilli, (ii) 3. 
First piece seen on King William Land, 

(i) 232. 
Little found on Douglas Island, (ii) 

Quantities found — 
Cape Sabine, (ii) 137, 250. 
Collecting for winter use at King 
Point, (ii) 159. 
Driftwood Point, (ii) 299. 
Drygalski, Erik von, (ii) 70. 
" Duchess of Bedford " — Anglo- American 

Polar Expedition, (ii) 282. 
Ducks — 
Eider ducks, see that title. 
Shooting by members of the Expedition 
at King Point, (ii), 149. 



Dudley Digges, Cape, (i) 38. 

Duke d'Abruzzi's Point, refer to Luigi 

Dundas Islands — land lost sight of, etc., 

(i) n- 

Eagle City — 
Meeting between Captain Amundsen 

and Mr. Darrell, (ii) 196. 
Post journey from Herschel Island to 

Eagle City, refer to Herschel 

Earth — bare spots first met with — Hov- 

gaard's Islands, (i) 199. 
Easter — • 
King Point, Easter at, (ii) 188. 
Preparations for, on board the "Gjoa," 

(ii) 58. 
Easter Island — island named during 

expedition to Victoria Land, (ii) 

Egbert, Fort, (ii) 246. 
Eggs — addition to zoological collection, 

(i) 207 ; (ii) 90. 
Eider ducks — • 
Additions to zoological collection, (ii) 

Food, eider ducks as, (i) 203. 
Eider Duck Island, (i) 39. 
Eivili (Repulse Bay and arm of Hudson 

Bay), (i) 231, 294. 
Eivind Astrup's Islands — small islands 

off the coast of King William Land 

christened, (i) 79. 
Eldro or Praederik — old reindeer paunch 

bargain, (i) 211. 
Electric light installation experiment at 

Gjciahavn, (i) 258. 
Elk meat obtained at the mouth of 

Mackenzie River, (ii) 179, 181. 
EUing Hill — Eskimo camp christened 

Hotel Filing Hill, (i) 251. 
Enamelled ironware on board the 

" Gjoa"- — Eskimo women fascinated 

with, (ii) 80. 
"Era" — American whaler — letter from 

Captain Comer to Captain Amund- 
sen, (ii) 75. 
Erebus Bay — "Gjoa" anchored in, (i) 

" Erebus" and " Terror " of Franklin's 

Expedition, (i) 47. 
Erichsen, Mylius, Danish Literary 
Expedition to Greenland, 
Amundsen's Captain, meeting with, (i), 

40, 41. 
Presentation of dogs, (i) 45. 

Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 

Pole, etc. — 
Adoption of boy by Captain Amundsen 

experience, (i) 271. 
Amusements, (ii) 18, 23-6. 
Appearance^tribe which could be 

called handsome, (i) 116. 
Bartering — Articles as bartering 

medium, (i) 30, 120; (ii) 58,84, 114, 

Shortage of acticles — issue of warrants 

for future delivery, (ii) 64. 
Bathurst, Cape — number of Eskimo 

seen from board the " Gjoa," (ii) 

Beverage — 
Chocolate, liking for, (i) 225. 
Water only beverage known, (i) 331 ; 

Black eye — Eskimo's pride in inflicting, 
deteriorating effect of civilisation, 
(ii) 61. 

Business instincts, (i) 294 ; (ii) 55, 56. 

Child birth — two deaths among women, 


Child life, (i) 301, 302, 311, 312, 313. 
Child marriages, (i) 307, 313, 314. 
Children — 
Amusements, (ii) 26. 
Atikleura, children of, (i) 168. 
Carrying by mothers, mode of, (i) 312. 
" Comforter," substitute for, (i) 312. 
Dress, (i) 310, 311. 
Fishing for cod, etc., (i) 317 ; (ii) 80. 
Herschel Island Eskimo children — 

mixed race, etc., (ii) 262. 
Mother suckling boy ten years old, 

(i) 267. 
Unruly son of Atangala, (i) 264, 267. 
Washine and feeding process, (i) 311. 
Civilisation, Eskimo coming in contact 

with, deterioration resulting from, 

(i) 317 ; (ii) 61, 142, 169. 
Appeal to civilised nations on behalf 

of, (ii) 48, 51. 
Diseases among Eskimo on Herschel 

Island, (ii) 261. 
Tribe which had come mostly in 

contact with, (i) 293. 
Clothing — skin clothing, (i) 324, 325. 
Fashion, Eskimo who led the fashion 

—description of garments, (ii) 15, 

16, 17. 
Making — cutting out and sewing 

described, (ii) 14, 15. 
Utility of, (i) 149. 
Colds, Eskimo suffering from^chest 

diseases, etc., (i) 250, 331 ; (ii) 187, 

188, 329. 



Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 
Pole, etc. (coiif.) — 

Collarbones, broken bones set by 
Captain Amundsen, (i) 321 ; (ii) 57. 

Conjuring tricks, performed by, (ii) 18. 

Dawdling habit, (ii) 28. 

Depots left in charge of, 7-efer to 

Disrobing in presence of strangers — 
Polar Eskimo unlike Greenland 
Eskimo, (ii) 13. 

Domestic appliances — primitive appli- 
ances, method of cooking, etc., 
(i) 294, 295, 298, 301, 302; (ii) 

7' 8. . 

Enamelled ironware, china, etc., on 

board the " Gjoa " — Eskimo women 

fascinated with, (ii) 80. 
Embracing — rubbing noses as form of, 

(i) 257, 309, 315. 
Employment of by Captain Amundsen, 

7-efer to names of Eskimo. 
Farewell to on leaving .Qjoahavn, (ii) 

107, 113, 115. 
Festivals kept by — 
Building large igloo which served as 

common assembly room, (ii) 17, 18. 
Christmas time, festival corresponding 

to, (i) 274; (ii) 17, 23. 
Dance and chants performed — seal 

catching festival, etc., (ii) 24-6. 
Fire for cooking and heating purposes, 

methods of obtaining, (i) 294, 301, 

302 ; (ii) 8. 
First Eskimo seen at Gjoahavn — sur- 
prise encounter. Captain Amundsen's 

return visit to Eskimo huts, etc., 

(i) 113-22. 
Fishing and fishing implements, refer to 

that title. 
Fog and darkness, no obstacle to 

Eskimo travelling, (i) 121 ; (ii) no. 
Food, nature of, etc., (i) 302; (ii) 265, 

refer also to titles Fish, Reindeer, 

Seals, etc. 
Football played by both sexes, (i) 176. 
I^ootgear — 
Care taken of feet, (i) 143. 
Description of, method of removing, 

etc., (i)3i3; (ii) 10. 
Foresight practiced by, (ii) 20. 
Games on board the " Gjoa," Eskimo 

taking part in, (i) 289. 
Giants race of — ancient tradition among 

Eskimo tribe, (i) 321. 
Graves — 
Closed and open Nechilli graves, 

(i) 220, 221. 
Herschel Island Cemetery, (ii) 260. 

Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 
Pole, etc. {cont.) — 
Gymnastic exercise, (ii) 17. 
Happiness and light heartedness, (i) 

250, (ii) 13. 
Hospitality^tea and fresh bread offered 
to strangers, Eskimo met with on 
Canadian and Alaska Coast, (ii) 
163, 226. 
Hut and hut building, refer to title 

Impressions of— different opinions, (i) 

Intelligence, (ii) 54, 61. 
Iron and iron articles — possessions of 

various tribes, (i) 293. 
Language — 
Difficulty as to, (i) 292 ; (ii) 328. 
Identical among different tribes, (ii) 

Norwegian-Eskimo language, (ii) 52. 
Magician, (i) 320 ; (ii) 18. 
Making fun of failings of others — 

wearisome custom, (i) 164, 190. 
Medicine man of Nechilli tribe — 

Kagoptinner, (i) 161. 
Morals and manners, (i) 171, 196, 202, 

230, 231. 
Mother-in-law, daughter-in-law's affec- 
tion for, (i) 316. 
Musical instrument, (ii) 24. 
North Greenland Eskimo, meeting with, 
in connection with Danish Literary 
Expedition, (i) 39. 
Order, lack of, (i) 316. 
Plans and calculations made by, (ii) 28. 
Pleading poverty trick, (i) 241. 
Primitiveness of the Kilnermium tribe, 

(ii) 329. 
Privation — period of greatest privation, 

(ii) 23. _ 

Punching holes in under lips and insert- 
ing buttons by way of ornaments, 
(ii) 146. 
Religious ideas — 
Inhabiting moon and stars after death, 

belief in, (i) 320. 
Life after death imagined — love of life 
without fear of death, etc., (ii) 48. 
Respect for the white man inspired by 
Amundsen and his men, (i) 287 ; 
(ii) 60. 
Seal fishing, refer to that title. 
Sewing — reindeer sinews as thread, etc. , 

(i)305, 328; (ii) 14, 15. 
Singing, love of — 
Chant at Eskimo festival, (ii 25. 
Missionary's experiment at Herschel 
Island, (ii) 166. 



Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 
Pole, etc. {lont.) — 

Singing, love oi [cont.) — 
Monotonous and unmusical perform- 
ance, (i) 303. 

Ski, snow-shoes, etc., not used, (i) 120. 

Skill and practical sense, (i) 316. 

Sleeping — no regular night sleep in 
summer, (i) 317. 

Snow huts, refer to title Huts. 

Sorcery practised, (ii) 19, 20. 

Spitting habit, (i) 250. 

Suicide, sickness or misery resulting in 
Eskimo strangling themselves — in- 
stances, (ii) 48. 

Superior types of Eskimo — swells among 
various tribes, (i) 309, 316. 
Atikleura — reception given to Captain 
Amundsen, gifts exchanged, etc., 
(i) 164-72, 179. 

Superstitions among, (i) 277, 329, 331, 

333, 334- 
Swimming unknown to, (ii) 91, 268. 
Tattoo marks on different parts of body, 

(i) 168. 
Tea drinking among Eskimo on the 

Alaska coast, (ii) 163. 
Teeth and mouth Eskimo's universal 

tool, (i) 315; (ii) 14. 
Tents constructed by, see title Tents. 
Thefts by Ogluli Eskimo, (i) 248, 281, 
Thieves forbidden to return to Og- 
choktu, (i) 282. 
Carrying out prohibition, (ii) 59, 60. 
Time, computation of, (ii) 45-7. 
Traces of Eskimo habitation — cairns and 

tent circles, (i) 83, 298. 
Tribes, different tribes met with — 
Camp at Booth Point, (i) 99. 
Different tribes and their boundaries, 

(i) 292. 
Kagmallik — King Point, (ii) 142. 
Kilnermium — Victoria Land, (i) 247, 

292 ; (ii) 84, 326-30. 
Nechilli — towards Matty Island, (i) 

Nunatarmiun — King Point, (ii) 142. 
Ogluli — Gjoahavn, (i) 116, 127. 
Original parent tribe — the Nechilli 

theory, (i) 293. 
Social intercourse and inter-marriage — 
amalgamation of various tribes into 
one single tribe resulting from, (i)292. 
Trustworthiness among the Nechilli 
tribe — keeping of promises, etc., (i) 
235, 24S, 319. 
Solitary instance of breach of trust, 
(i) 271. 

Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 
Pole, etc. {coiit.) — 
Visits of Eskimo to Gjoahavn during 
sojourn of the " Gjoa " — • 

Accommodating on board the " Gjoa" 
on cold nights, (i) 288. 

Census taken — number of Eskimo dis- 
tributed among eighteen families, 
(i) 281. 

Departure for seal fishing, (i) 283. 
Reappearance at commencement of 
second winter, (i) 237. 

English, Eskimo speaking — Atangala's 
visit, (i) 263. 

Gifts distributed previous to the depar- 
ture from Gjoahavn, (ii) 78. 

Hundreds of miles travelled to reach 
Gjoahavn, (ii) 55. 

Large parties of Ogluli Eskimo, (i) 

Lively and variegated aspect of harbour 
imparted by, (i) 250. 

Protection against — mode of impressing 
Eskimo of white man's power, (i) 

Return of hospitality, etc. , (i) 178, 179. 
Settlements round Gjoahavn, (i) 178, 

Unpleasantness of being surrounded by 

Eskimo beggars, (i) 272. 
for particular Eskimo, refer to their 

Visits to Eskimo settlements by Captain 

Amundsen — 
Kaa-aak-ka, (i) 120-3, 1 32-5. 
Matty Island — Magito first met with,. 

(i) 184. 
Nechilli camp — 
Description of camp — reception given 

by women Eskimo, etc., (i) 160, 

162, 163. 
Second visit — process of removal of 

the tribe towards south witnessed, 

(i) 174- 
Wedding celebrations, (i) 314. 
Wives — 
Exchanging, instance of, (i) 309. 
Position held by- 
Feasts, women not admitted, (i) 122. 
Ill-treatment by husbands, (i) 278, 

306, 318. 
Object of marriage, (i) 314. 
Sale of — Eskimo with an eye to busi- 
ness, (i) 310. 
Two wives, Eskimo with, (i) 321. 
for particular Eskimo wives, refer to- 
their names. 
Women — 
Cunning instinct, (i) 172. 



Eskimo — inhabitants of Magnetic North 

Pole, etc. {co7tt,) — 
Women [cont.) — 
Fear of white men, (i) 256. 
Personal appearance, etc., (i) 163, 168. 
Hands and feet, shapeliness of, (i) 

Handsome specimens, (i) 307, 318. 
Unattractiveness, (i) 133, 137, 138, 
Eta, Island of, (i) 104. 
Channel between Eta Island and King 
William Land — ice conditions, (i) 

Hunting for Reindeer — Lund and 

Hansen's Expedition, (i) 97, 99. 
Eta Strait — exciting passage through, 

etc., (ii) 1 14-6. 
Ethnographical collection, , addition to — 

Eskimo boy's magician's sign, (ii) 

Expeditions for discovery of North West 

Passage, achievements of, etc., (ii) 

for particular Expeditions refer to 

names of explorers. 
Explosives — gun cotton taken on board 

at Horten Harbour — importance of 

explosives on Polar Expeditions, (i) 


Fair Isle and the Orkneys, passing 

between, (i) 17. 
Fairbanks on Tanana River, (ii) 245. 
Fairway Rock sighted, (ii) 285. 
Falsen Island named, (ii) 344. • 
Farewell, Cape — land sighted to the 

west of, (i) 22. 
Faulty course taken near Boothia, (i) 

Festivals kept on board the " Gjoa " — 
Christmas, (i) 126-31, 274; (ii) 179. 
Easter, (ii) 58, 188. 
King of Norway's birthday, (ii) 270. 
Norwegian Independence Day, (ii) 

202. 342. 
St, John the Baptist Day, (ii) 83. 
Financing the Expedition — 
Contributions of money, goods, etc. — 

List of contributors, (ii) 365-8. 
Difficulties of getting financial help, 
(i) 6, 13, 14. 
Finlayson Island — passing of the 
"Gjoa" through sound between 
Finlayson Island and two small 
islets — sea free from ice, etc., (ii) 121. 
Fire arms — 
Exchange of ammunition with Eskimo 
incident, (ii) 56. 

Fire arms (cojtf.) — 
Gifts of revolvers, etc. , to Eskimo — 
Care bestowed on gun given to 

Atikleura, (ii) 58. 
" Garden syringe " — bursting incident, 
Invention by Lund and gun presented 

to Uchyuneiu, (ii) 56. 
Krag-Jorgensen rifle used for killing 
reindeer, (i) 106. 
Superiority of over Winchester for 
killing reindeer, (ii) 192. 
Mauser Rifle used by Captain Amund- 
sen, (i) 243. 
Shot guns, failure to purchase at God- 
havn — guns lent by Governor, etc., 
(ii) 63. 
Fire brigade institution at Gjoahavn — 
new method of providing water, (i) 

Fire on board the " Gjoa " — engine 

room alight among tanks of 

petroleum, (i) 64. 
Fire-proof bricks brought from Godhavn, 

utilising for constructing stove 

incident, (i) 269. 
Shoal of white fish near Beechey Island, 

(i) 53- 
Supply of to the Expedition by Eskimo, 
etc., (i) 157, 206, 210, 23s, 248; 
(ii) no, 144, 259. 
White fish, species found at King Point, 

(ii) 148. 
for particular fish, refer to their names, 

such as Salmon, Cod, etc. 
Fishing implements of the Eskimo, (i) 
. 294, 301, 317. 
Line of reindeer gut, hook, bait, etc., 

(i) 238, 255. 
Spear, description of, (i) 301. 
Fitz- James Island, (ii) 319. 
Flaxman Islands — passing of the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 274, 275. 
Flour supplied by the "Gjoa" to 
American whalers at Herschel 
Island, (ii) 180. 
Flowers — 
Herschel Island — quantities of flowers, 

(ii) 259. 
Hovgaard's Islands — little flowers seen, 

(i) 199- 
Kaa-aak-ka — variegated carpet of 

coloured flowers covering hills, (i) 

Nordligste Nordhoi — sprouting flowers 

and herbs, (i) 206. 
Sabine, Cape — forget-me-nots found on, 

(ii) 137. 



Fog encountered, (i) 21 ; (ii) 107. 
Barrow Strait, (i) 56. 
Bathurst, Cape, (ii) 132, 135. 
Bellot Strait, (i) 59. 
Density of fog of Arctic Ocean — London 

fog nothing to it, (i) 36. 
Eskimo's indifference to, (i) 121 ; (ii) 

Herschel Island, voyage from along 

Alaska Coast, (ii) 271, 272, 273, 

274, 275, 276, 280. 
Maguire, Cape — thick wall of fog, (i) 

Victoria Land sledge expedition, (ii) 

353. 354- 
Football played by both sexes of Eskimo, 

(i) 176. 
Footgear — 
Eskimo, footgear worn by (i) 143, 313 ; 

(ii) 10. 
Stockings and boots worn by members 
of Expedition — sedge grass put in 
feet of stockings, (ii) 90. 
Foss, Ole — service on board the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 199. 
Fossils collected — 
Beechey Island, (i) 49. 
Cape Christian FreHerik, (i) 76. 
Pfeffer River trip, (ii) 96. 
*' Fox" — Sir L. M'Clintock's voyage, (i) 

51 ; refer also to M'Clintock. 
Fox steak enjoyed by Expedition at 

Gjoahavn, (i) 289. 
Foxes — 
Havoc among reindeer depots caused by, 

(i) 328. 
Number — catching in traps, etc., (ii) 

Shooting — Victoria Land sledge ex- 
pedition incident, (ii) 351. 
Tracks of seen, (i) 205 ; (ii) 52. 
" Fram " expeditions — 
Dogs which did service in second ex- 
pedition — return to native home in 
the "Gjoa," (i) 15. 
Dogs' fat which came from second 

expedition, (i) 284. 
Speed indicator applied to dog sledge — 
old apparatus from second " Fram " 
Expedition, (i) 156. 
Fram Point — sledge expedition to 

Victoria Land, (ii) 304, 305. 
Franklin Bay passed — " smoking rocks " 

seen, etc., (ii) 131, 132. 
Franklin Expeditions, (i) 2, 293. 
Beechey Island — Franklin's last safe 

winter harbour, (i) 47. 
Discoverers of North West Passage, (i) 
48, 49. 

Franklin Expeditions [cont.) — 
Fate of the Expedition of 1845, (") I04' 
Information obtained from the Eskimo 
— ships found on south coast of 
Cape Crozier by Eskimo, etc., (ii) 
News of, brought by Dr. J. Rae and 
Admiral Sir L. M'Clintock, (i) 48. 
Herschel Island, discoverer of, (ii) 


North American coast mapped by, (ii) 

Remains of last Expedition — bones and 
skulls found — 
Hall Point, (ii) 109, 297, 310. 
Hunger Bay, (i) 252. 
Todd's Island, (i) 257. 
Franklin Strait, (i) 57. 
Eraser, Mr. — visit to the "Gjoa" at 

King Point, (ii) 146, 152. 
Freezing point, colour affecting — glass of 
water on board the "Gjoa" 
incident, (ii) 202. 
Frith, Mr. — Manager atFortMcPherson, 

(ii) 198. 
Frost-bites discomforts, (i) 173. 
Eskimo's knee warmer utilised as nose 

protector, (i) 177. 
Rubbing with snow not known among 
Eskimo, (i) 156. 
Fullerton, Cape, (i) 267. 

Gaff of the " Gjoa," refer to " Gjoa." 
Gales encountered in the North Sea, (i) 

Games of amusement taken out — Eskimo 

amusing themselves, with at Gjoa- 
havn, etc., (i) 289. 
Gauss— terrestrial magnetism theory, (i) 

85, 90. 
"Gauss" — used for German South Polar 

Expedition, ship now known as 

"The Arctic," (ii) 70. 
Geese — 
Flocks of, found at Gjoahavn, (i) 84. 
Killed with stones by Eskimo, (i) 227. 
Number of, at Nordligste Nordhoi, (i) 

Shoot at King Point, (ii) 149. 
Geographical observations — theodolite 

lent by Nansen, (i) 144. 
Geological character of land — high granite 

to low limestone, land altered after 

leaving Tasmanian Island, (i) 61. 
Geological character of sea bottom — 
Clay and stone — Simpson Strait, (ii) 




Geological character of sea bottom ((fo«^.) — • 
Rock to clay — Cape Christian Frederik, 

(i) n- 

Sand and stone — Queen Maud's Sea and 

Victoria Strait, between, (ii) 119. 

Gerlache, Adrien de — Belgian Antarctic 

Expedition under, (i) 5. 
Giants, race of — ancient tradition among 

Eskimo tribe, (i) 321. 
" Gjoa "— 
Accommodation — 
Additional berths constructed, (ii) 191. 
Re-arranging on Ristvedt and Wiik re- 
turning on board at Gjoahavn, (ii) 86. 
Boom stopper, breaking of, incident, 

(i) 19. 
Built as a herring-boat in the Rosendal 
shipyard on the Hardanger, (i) 3, 6. 
Preparation and fitting out — trial expe- 
dition, etc., (i) 9, 10. 
Cabin decorations, (ii) 208. 
Departure from Gjoahavn, preparing for, 
(ii)_52, 56; 65, 76, 99-101. 
Painting, oiling, and smartening up 

ship, (ii) 82. 
Sails set and departure from Gjoahavn, 
(ii) loi. 
Departure from King Point, preparation 
for and departure of the " Gjoa," (ii) 
202, 205 i 207-11. 
Discipline — no strict rules on board, 

successful working of, (i) 17. 
Engine— what it achieved, etc., (i) 9, 
10, 18 ; (ii) 273. 
Accident to propeller blades — engine 
stops working off Fatigue Bay, (ii) 
Engine-room flooded — alarming incident 
on starting out from King Point, (ii) 

. 253- 
Fire in engine-room among petroleum 

tanks, (i) 64. 
Gaffs, accidents to, (ii) 120. 
Material for new gaffs discovered, (ii) 

137, 138. 
No engine and no main sail off Fatigue 
Bay, (ii) 279. 
Materials for repairing — obtaining at 

Barrow Point, (ii) 283. 
New gaff, procuring at Nome, (ii) 291. 
Improvements effected for second winter, 

(i), 258. 
Kitchen, description of — winter quarters 

at Gjoahavn, (i) 121, 126. 
Living quarters of Captain Amundsen 
and Lieutenant Hansen during 
winter sojourn at Gjoahavn — Chop- 
ping icebergs out of bunks, etc., 

"Gjoa" {cont.)— 
Preparing for winter, (i) 101 ; (ii) 152. 
Services of two more men required, visit 
to Herschel Island to negotiate for, 
(ii) 189, 191. 
Arrival of two men engaged from 
whalers — names, nationality, etc. ,. 
(ii) 199. 
Speed, (i) 16, 18, 19, 46 ; (ii) 253, 
Stranding — ■ 
Beaufort Islands stranding off a low 
island, southernmost of the Beaufort 
group, (i) 62. 
Matty Island — grounding on sub- 
merged reef near little island to the 
north of -Matty Island, (i) 68. 
Efforts to refloat — deck-cargo thrown 
overboard and ultimate refloating of 
the ship, (i) 69-75. 
Work on board — 
Organising and provision of duties on 

board, (i) 16, 17, 18. 
Variations arising out of being short 
handed, (ii) 274. 
Gjoahavn or Ogchoktu — winter quarters, 
of the "Gjoa," (i) 80. 
Description of harbour and shore, (i) 

Discovery of and christening, (i) 79. 
Distance from the Pole, etc., (i) 93. 
Division of duties between members of 

the Expedition, (i) 123, 126. 
Eskimo, visits from, etc., refer to title 

Ground above Gjoahavn — broken 

ground, etc., (i) 103. 
House in which Ristvedt and Wiik were 
to live, building of, (i) 99. 
Completion of and christened Villa 

"Magnet," (i) 109, no. 
Improvements made, (i) 235. 
Situation, material used for building,, 
description of interior, etc. , (i) no, 
Surprise visit by Eskimo, (i) 119. 
Landmarks, absence of — difficulties of 

finding harbour in the dark, (i) 105. 
Magnetic pole — suitability of Gjoahavn 
for a fixed magnetic station, (i) 80, 

83> 93- 

Observatories erected, refer to title Mag- 
netic Stations. 

Ship berthed and preparations com- 
menced for taking up winter quarters, 

(i) 93- 
Winter quarters taken up — distance of 

" Gjoa" from shore, etc., (i) loi. 
Spring and summer at Gjoahavn, 
description of, (i) 188, 201.. 



Gjoahavn {cont.) — 
Stores, removing on shore — building of 

storehouse, etc., (i) 94-6. 
Temperature of water, (ii) 91. 
Termination of sojourn — preparations 
and departure from Gjoahavn, (ii) 
55. 56, 76, 99-101. 
Glenelg Bay, (ii) 299. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land, 
disappointment at not reaching the 
bay, (ii) 354. 
Gloves worn when constructing snow- 
huts, (i) 151 ; (ii) 5. 
Glue made by Eskimo from reindeer 

blood, (i) 305. 
Gnats, plague of, (i) 33, 216, 222, 224, 

297 ; (ii) 86, 208. 
Goat — mountain goat of Alaska, (ii) 226. 
Godhavn — 
Departure from and leave-taking, etc., 

(i) 33- 
Governor Nielsen's welcome and assist- 
ance, (i) 26, 29. 
Great Ristvedt Lake, (i) 206. 
Greely Harbour — bay on Victoria Land 

christened, (ii) 353, 356. 
Green ash, preference for to hickory 
as it was less brittle in Arctic 
regions, (i) 286. 
Greenland — 
Compass not to be relied upon — well 
known phenomenon on west coast, 
(i) 24, 46. 
Eskimo — 
Meeting with in connection with 

Danish Literary Expedition, (i) 39. 
Treatment of by Royal Danish Trad- 
ing Company — example to other 
nations, (ii) 51. 
Nansen's Expedition, refer to Nansen. 
Temperature of water on west coast of, 
(i) 24. 
Grounding of the " Gjoa," refer to 

" Gjoa " — stranding. 
Grouse shot at King Point, (ii) 149. 
Guncotton taken on board at Horten 
Harbour, (i) 15. 

Halkett, Cape, (ii) 276. 

Hall, Point C. F.— bones and skulls of 

white men met with, (ii) 109, 297, 

Hansen, Helmer — member of expedition, 

(i) 13. 
Duties performed by, (i) 29, 125, (ii) 


Expedition to island of Eta in search of 
reindeer, (i) 97, 99. 

Hansen, Helmer {cont.) — 
Ice anchors, loosening — Hansen chosen 

for the work, (ii) 278. 
Snow-hut, building, (i) 143. 
Tobacco, chewing habit, (ii) 187. 
Hansen, Lieutenant Godfred — member of 

expedition, (i) 10. 
Astronomical duties, (i) 29. 
Bead trinkets — how market value of 

beads among the Eskimo was 

brought about, (ii) 58. 
Born sportsman, (i) 103. 
Electric light installation at Gjoahavn, 

experiment, (i) 258. 
Magnetic work — Lieutenant Hansen as 

assistant, (i) 282. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land, 

refer to title Victoria Land. 
Snow-hut, building, (i) 143. 
Stranding of the " Gjoa " incident, (i) 

Hansen's farthest — point at which sledge 

expedition to Victoria Land turned 

back, (ii) 354. 
Hardy, Cape, (i) 174, 182. 
Hares — 
Numbers met with — tracks indicating 

numbers, etc., (ii) 239. 
Quantity obtained at King Point, (ii) 

179, 181, 185, 187. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land — 

hares shot, (ii) 357. 
" Harold Dollars," (ii) 282. 
Harpar, Mr., (ii) 244. 
Harpoons and knives — grinding, 

engineer's inventive method, (i) 23. 
Harrison Bay — ice encountered, (ii) 

Health of members of expedition, (i) 

Healthiness of polar regions — air not 

absolutely free from bacilli — epidemic 

of colds among Eskimo in regions 

around King William Land, (i) 

Heat, scorching sun experienced in July 

at Gjoahavn, (ii) 99. 
Heather as fuel, (i) 224. 
Eskimo's mode of procuring fire for 

cooking purposes, etc., (i) 301. 
Smoked salmon experiment at Gjoa- 
havn, (ii) 94. 
Helmer Hansen's Hill — 
Magnetic observation trip — stay at 

Helmer Hansen's Hill, description 

of, etc., (i) 222, 224. 
Herbs — Nordligste Nordhoi, sjDrouting 

herbs, (i) 206. 
" Herman," (ii) 271. 



Herschel Island — 
Amundsen's, Captain, journey and visit 

to Captain Tilton at, (ii) 163, 212, 

Arrival of the "Gjoa" — unfavourable 

ice conditions for continuing voyage, 

(ii) 254, 258, 266. 
Attempts to get into open channel, (ii) 

268, 270, 271, 272. 
Burial ground — curious Eskimo graves, 

(ii) 260. 
Description of, (ii) 255. 
Eskimo tribe inhabiting — mixed race, 

etc., (ii) 169, 260, 261, 262. 
Franklin as discoverer — importance of 

the island to the whalers, (ii) 

255- . . 

Ice conditions, etc., (ii) 130. 

Vegetables — Kagmallik potatoes, (ii) 

Vegetation — quantities of flowers, etc., 
(ii), 259. 

Whale hunting, refer to that title. 
Herschel Island to Eagle City — Captain 
Amundsen's post journey with Cap- 
tain Mogg across Canada and 
Alaska — • 

Aurora Borealis — lighting travellers on 
their way, (ii) 234. 

Blow-hole, notorious narrow pass be- 
tween rocks 1,500 feet high reached, 
(ii) 227, 

Camping places — division of labour 
between members of the Expedi- 
tion, etc., (ii) 219, 224, 228, 230, 

Circle City reached, (ii) 243. 

Climatic conditions, (ii) 233, 234. 

Coleen River reached, (ii) 234. 

Departure of Captain Amundsen, Cap- 
tain Mogg, Eskimo Jimmy and his 
wife Kappa, (ii) 216. 

Dogs scenting hares, etc. , (ii) 239. 

Eagle City reached— telegraphic com- 
munication with home and letters 
and papers received, (ii) 245, 246. 

Equipment and provisions for the 
journey — Captain Mogg's objection 
to pemmican, etc., (ii) 212-4. 

Eskimo met with — hospitality offered in 
the way of tea and fresh bread, etc., 
(ii) 226, 228. 

Eskimo depot, different system to 
Nechilli Eskimo (ii), 229. 

Guide, Charlie — character, etc., (ii) 242, 

Gusts of wind which overturned dogs, 
sledges, etc., encountered in narrow 
passes, (ii) 224. 

Herschel Island to Eagle City, etc. 
{cont) — • 
Indians met with — exchange of com- 
modities, hospitality shown towards 
Captain Amundsen and his party, 
(ii) 235, 236, 237, 238, 239. 
Dress of Indian tobogganners of 
Salmon Creek — bead embroidered 
clothing, etc., (ii), 240. 
Mode of sledge running, (ii), 218. 
Mountains, height of, (ii), 229, 231. 
Porcupine River, (ii) 232, 233, 238. 
Reindeer and wolf tracks crossed, (ii) 

Return journey to the north — hospitality 
met with in Alaska, etc., (ii) 246, 
Road houses ("hotels") — description 

of, charges, etc., (ii) 244, 245. 
Rocks and fir trees, Captain Amundsen's 

delight in, (ii) 223, 224. 
Scenery, (ii) 225, 228, 231, 235. 
Ski and snow-shoes, relative value as 
means of transport, (ii) 218, 224^ 
225, 234. 
Supplies of fresh meat obtained from 

Eskimo, etc., (ii) 226, 228. 
Telegraphic communication, no facilities 

at Fort Yukon, (ii) 241. 
Tent used — preference for three pole 

triangular tent, (ii) 220, 221. 
Toboggans used on the Expedition, (ii) 
214, 230. 
New toboggan purchased at Yukon, 
(ii) 242. 
Tragedy in connection with whaling 

fleet crew desertion, (ii) 229. 
Wooden hut put up for mail carriers, 

night spent in, (ii) 242. 
Yukon, Fort, arrival at, (ii) 241, 
Herschel Island River, (ii) 218, 219. 
Hickory, green ash preferred to, as it was 
less brittle in Arctic regions, (i) 286-. 
" Hicksies " (earth-rat) — number at King 

Point, value of skins, etc., (ii) 192. 
Holms Island, (i) 34, 35. 
Homann's Bay, survey of, etc., (ii) 342, 

Hooper Island, (ii) 135. 
Horsburgh, Cape, (i) 46. 
Horten Harbour^ — guncotton taken on 

board at, (i) 15. 
Hovgaard's Islands — named by Eskimo 
Achliechtu and Achlieu — 
Islands discovered in Simpson Strait 
and christened after Commander 
Hovgaard, (ii) 296. 
Magnetic and surveying expedition, (i) 



Hovgaard's Islands (cont.) — • 
Magnetic and surveying — (cont. ) — 
Charts made and magnetic observations 
investigated, (i) 199, 200 ; (ii) 
M'Clintock, Islands not observed by, (i) 
Howard, Major — Herschel Island ap- 
pointment, etc., (ii) 188, 261. 
" Hunger Bay " refer to Navyato. 
Hunting expeditions in search of reindeer 

refer to Reindeer. 
Hunting ground of Eskimo — boundaries 

of different tribes, (ii) 45. 
Ice-huts, building by Eskimo — 
Description of hut built by the " Owl," 

Tamoktuktu's hut visited by Captain 
Amundsen below Wiik's Hill, (i) 

Snow huts — 
Art of building — appliances, selection 

of snow, etc., (i) 142, 143. 
Eskimo huts — 
Interior and its furniture, etc., (ii) 
7-12, 14. 
Selection of site and snow and 
mode of construction described, (ii) 


Sleeping berths, (ii) 7, 8. 
Windows of ice inserted, (ii) 14. 
Sledge expedition, snow huts built on, 

(i) 151- 
Sledge packing, hut for, built by 

Teraiu, (i) 144. 
Superiority of, to tents in matter of 

warmth, etc., (i) 142, 159. 

Ice — 
Absence of — Peel Sound, (i) 56. 
Breaking up — 
Bluish tinge indicating thinness of ice, 

(ii) 96, 99. 
Gjoahavn, date at which harbour was 
free from ice, (ii) 96. 
Difficulties of getting into open channel 
— journey from Herschel Island 
along Alaska coast, (ii) 254, 258-9, 
266, 268-84. 
Drift ice — first real drift ice met with, 

(i) 60. 
First ice met with, (i) 21. 
Large quantities encountered — Cape 

Maguire, (i) 60. 
Optical illusions — 
A sail ahead— icebergs mistaken for, 
(i) 25. 

Ice (cojit.) — 
Optical illusions {cont.) — 
Mirror-like glitter of calm sea mistaken 
for solid mass of unbroken ice, (i) 

56- . . 

" Pancake ice" — ice so called, (i) 53, 

Sledge expedition to Victoria Land, 

refer to Victoria Land. 
Thickness of, at Ogchoktu — comparisons 

with previous year, (ii) 62. 
Voyage southwards — -last ice seen off 

Cape Bel«her, (ii) 284. 
Ice anchors, use of, along Alaska coast, 

(ii) 278. 
Icebergs encountered, (i) 22, 62. 
"Ice blink" — optical illusions resulting 

from, (i), 56. 
Ice fog, refer to Fog. 
Ice-huts, refer to Huts. 
Ice-windows — 
Eskimo huts construction, (ii) 14, 
Magnetic observatory construction, (i) 

Ichyuachtorvik • — -district where Sir J. 

Ross wintered with the "Victory," 

(i) 292. 
Icy, Cape — discoverer of, (ii) 103. 
Icy Reef — glacier seen, (ii) 273, 274. 
Idleness, demoralising effect of — difficulty 

which leader of Arctic exploration 

had to contend with, (i) 268. 
Igloo — Eskimo name for snow-hut, (i) 

152 ; refer also to title Huts. 
Igloo knives prized by Eskimo, (ii) 

Illustrated papers — Eskimo's interest in, 

(i) 289. 
Implements of the Eskimo — 
Fishing implements, refer to that title. 
Seal fishing implements, (ii) 29. 
Snow-hut constructing — • implements 
used, (ii) 2, 3, 4. 
Independence Day kept as a festival, 

(ii) 202, 342. 
Indians — 

American whalers, mails conveyed by» 
from P'ort McPherson to Fort Yukon, 
(ii) 169, 195. 
Amundsen's, Captain, post journey from 
Herschel Island to Eagle City, 
Indians met with, (ii) 235, 236, 237, 
238, 239, 240. 
Insect life — swarms of insects — 
Hovgaard's Islands, (i) 199. 
Nordligste Nordhoi, (i) 206. 
Iron — superstitions among Eskimo as to 
use of iron implements, etc., (i) 329, 

Isachsen Point, (ii) 348. 



Ilivdliarsuk — northernmost spot inhabited 
by civilised men, (i) 34. 

James Ross Strait, (i) 61, refer also to 

"Jeannette," (ii) 250, 253, 279. 

Jelly-fish — sight of, hailed with joy, (ii) 

Jimmy the Eskimo and his wife Kappa — 
post journey to Fort Yukon accom- 
panied by, etc., (ii) 177, 178, 215, 
218, 219, 221, 222, 231, 232, 233, 
234. 237, 241. _ 

Johannesen, Captain H. C. — owner of 
the "Gjoa," (i) 9. 

Kaa-aak-ka — 
Description of — Arctic paradise in sum- 
mer, etc., (i) 200, 226. 
Eskimo huts visited by Captain Amund- 
sen, (i) 123. 
Second visit on behalf of Teraiu, hard- 
ships endured, etc., (i) 132-7. 
Survey and magnetic observations car- 
ried out, (i) 200, 201, 226. 
Hansen's, Lieutenant, sledge expedi- 
tion, (i) 285. 
Previous year's work, which had to be 
repeated owing to error in laying 
down field magnet, (i) 287. 
Temperature — lowest temperature ob- 
served, which showed the second 
winter to be milder than the first, 
Kaa-aak-kea, Eskimo — description of 

tent occupied by, etc., (i) 306. 
Kabloka, Eskimo — wife of the " Owl," 

(i) 193, 244, 245 ; (ii) 60. 
•' Kabluna" — Eskimo word for white 

man, (i) 121. 
Kachkochnelli, Eskimo, (ii) 46. 
Business instincts of Kachkochnelli, 

etc., (i) 310. 
Performance at Eskimo festival, (ii) 24, 

Seal catching, (ii) 28, 30, 32. 
Kagmallik potatoes — Herschel Island 

vegetable, (ii) 265. 
Kagoptinner — grey-haired Eskimo, (i) 

161, 320; (ii) 18, 58. 
Kallo, Eskimo boy, (i) 310. 
Kamiglu — 
Description of, (ii) 1 10. 
Meeting with Eskimo old friends and 
collecting supplies in the way of 
meat and fish, (ii) 109-13. 
Kaorka Isthmus, (ii) 306. 
Kaorka Lake, (ii) 306. 

Kappa, wife of Eskimo, refer to Jimmy. 
"Karluk" — American whaler, (ii) 180, 

191, 271, 283. 
Kataksina, wife of Christian Sten, (ii) 

156, 251. 
Kaumallo, Eskimo boy adopted by 

Captain Amundsen, (i) 271. 
Kaumallo and Kalakchie, Eskimo — 
Meeting with a second time, (i) 183. 
Plundering of depot by, (i) 186. 
Kayaggolo, Mrs. Teraiu — wife of Eskimo, 
unattractiveness of, etc., (i) 133, 137, 
138, 179, 180, 293, 319. 
Kayak used by Eskimo — 
Amundsen's, Captain, experiment with, 

(i) 226. 
Compared with those seen among Green- 
land Eskimo, (i) 222. 
Constructing and preparing, for hunting 
reindeer, (i) 305. 
Covering kayak — process of dressing 
skins, etc., (i) 322. 
Kennel for dogs at Gjoahavn, (i) 107, 

Keuna Island — stone set up in memory 

of Franklin's men, (i) 258. 
Key Point, (ii) 143, 160, 163, 177. 
Keyo, Eskimo and his wife Nalungia — 
deterioration due to coming in 
contact with civilisation, (i) 317. 
Kilnermium Eskimo tribe — 
Boundaries of various tribes, (i) 292. 
Meeting with on Victoria Strait, (ii) 84. 
Kimaller, Eskimo wife, (i) 318. 
King Point — 
Arrival of the "Gjoa" — shore visited 
and Norwegian tinned provisions 
exchanged for American, etc., (ii) 141. 
Colony at — number of persons en- 
camped, number of dogs, etc., (ii) 

155, 159- 
Eskimo tribes met with, (ii) 142, 143, 

Fish, supply of — number caught, etc., 

(ii) 176. 
" Hicksies," appearance of, on sub- 
sidence of snow, (ii) 192. 
House to accommodate members of the 

Expedition, building of, (ii) 147-50. 
Desertion of after death of Wiik, (ii) 

Hunting expeditions fitted out— results, 

etc., (ii) 175, 179, 189, 192. 
Observatories, construction of, (ii) 147. 
Mark showing position of magnetic 

instruments stand, (ii) 209. 
Post expedition, departure of Captain 

Amundsen,, (ii) 177. 
Sten's house, building of, (ii) 144, 156. 



King Point {cont.) — 
Thefts by Eskimo and their dogs, (ii) 

I73> 174- 
Water, supply of — quality cf water, 

etc., (ii) 159, 201. 
Wiik's illness and death, (ii) 182-5. 
Grave at King Point, (ii) 200, 201, 

Winter, termination of and departure of 
the "Gjoa" from King Point, (ii) 
208-11, 250, 251. 
King William Land — 
Magnetic conditions — refer to that 

Mount Matheson, (i) 78, 79, 180, 182, 

203, 230. 
Reindeer, summer sojourn of — herds 
observed crossing the Sound to 
mainland, etc., (i) 102, 104. 
Small islands off the coast which were 
not charted — christened Eivind 
Astrup's Islands, (i) 79. 
Society founded to taste all the products 
— successful dishes produced, (i) 
Terminal Point christened in memory 
of Duke d'Abruzzi, (i) 79. 
King's Birthday — festival kept on board 

the "Gjoa," (ii) 270. 
Kirnir, Eskimo — husband of Magito, (i) 

, 278,318. 
Kitchen on board the "Gjoa," descrip- 
tion of, (i) 126. 
Klutschak and Ross, (i) 113. 
Kofoed Hansen, Cape, (ii) 357. 

Cairn erected, (ii) 342. 
Kokko, Eskimo — wife of Atangala, (i) 

Kotzebue Sound, Eskimo hailing from, 

(ii) 142. 
Krag-Jorgensen rifle — useful weapon for 

killing reindeer, (i) 106 ; (ii) 192. 
Krenchel — office manager of Royal 
Danish Greenland Trading Company 
— assistance rendered to the Expedi- 
tion, (i) 29. 
Kunak, Eskimo family at King Point, (ii) 
156, 251. 

La Trobe Bay, (i) 158, 232. 

Lame Eskimo boy — sledge presented to, 

by Captain Amundsen, (ii) 79. 
Lamps — 
Blubber oil lamp used by the Eskimo, 

(i)30i ; (ii)7. 
Failure of patent lamps taken out by 
the expedition, (i) 273. 

Lancaster Sound, (i) 46. 
Existence of questioned by John Ros.s, 
(ii) 103. 
Lancaster Strait, situation defined by 

Bylot and Baffin, (ii) 102. 
" Land seen by Rae," refer to Victoria 

Leather — relic of ruins of Franklia 
Depot, Beechey Island — good condi- 
tion of leather, (i) 51. 
Lee Provost — Woodcutter met with near 

Fort Yukon, (ii) 242. 
Lemmings — 
Fighting instincts of, (ii) 357. 
Swarms of at Nordligste Nordho: — 
movements and habits described, (i) 
205, 206. 
Tracks of, (ii) 52, 
Leopold Harbour on North Somerset 

Island, (i) 140. 
Leopoldhavn — depot established at by 

Danish Government, (ii) 75. 
Letters, refer to title Communications 
with the outside world, also title 
Light, artificial light, provisions as to — 

failure of patent lamp, (i) 273. 
"Lille Hellefishbank " (Little Halibut 

Bank) fishing incident, (i) 23. 
Limestone Island, (i) 55, 
Lind Island, (ii) 358. 

Ice conditions, (ii) 120. 
Lindstrom, Adolf Henrik — member of 
expedition, (i) 13. 
Accident to — exploding of the " Primus" 

stove, (ii) 95. 
Bartering with Eskimo, (i) 29, 30. 
Botanical collection from Herschel 

Island, (ii) 259. 
Duties on board the " Gjoa," (i) 1261; 

(ii) 269, 274. 
Illness, (i) 267. 
Sten and Lindstrom, friendship between, 

(ii) 186. 
Tricks played on, (i) 189, 216, 274 r 

(ii) 88. 
Zoological collection, refer to that title. 
Lister Light — last land seen after leaving 

Horten Harbour, (i) 16. 
Liston Islands — passing of the "Gjoa," 

(ii) 123. 
Little Halibut Bank (" Lille Hellefish- 
bank ") fishing incident, (i) 23. 
Little Ristvedt Lake, (i) 207. 
Low Water Creek, (ii) 313. 
Luigi d'Abruzzi's Point, (1) 229. 
Magnetic observations carried out, (i) 

Position determined, (ii) 90. 

385 2 C 


Luigi d'Abruzzi's Point (co7ti. ) — 
Terminal point of King William Land 
christened in memory of Duke 
d'Abruzzi, (i) 79. 
Lund, Anton — member of expedition, 
(i) 10. 
Chief of fire brigade, (i) 107. 
Duties performed by, (i) 29, 125. 
Expedition to island of Eta in search of 

reindeer, (i) 97, 99. 
Gun invention, (ii) 56. 
Lund, H. — Consul in San Francisco, 

letter from, (ii) 165. 
Lynx, shooting at King Point, (ii) 202. 

M'Clintock's, Admiral Sir L., expedi- 
tion, (i) 159, 232, 293 ; (ii) 106. 
Achliechtu Island not observed by, (i) 

Beechey Island visited, (i) 51. 
News of the region where Franklin's 
expedition was lost brought by, (i) 
M'Clintock Channel, (i) 60. 
Charting unknown western stretch of 
coast, refer to title Victoria Land. 
M'Clintock's chart— island not charted, 
land mistaken for Ogle Point, (i) 


M'Clure, Sir R.— North West Passage 

Expedition, results, (ii) 106. 
McGregor, Captain of the " Karluk," 
(ii) 191. 
Hospitality shown to Ristvedt, (ii) 180. 
McKenna, Captain J. — master of the 
" Charles Hanson," (ii) 170. 
Desertion of members of crew, (ii) 

Welcome of the expedition on getting 
through the North West Passage, 
(ii) 125-31. 
Mackenzie River, (ii) 134, 136. 
Water at King Point — fresh water 
brought out by the Mackenzie 
River, (ii) 159. 
McPherson, Fort, (ii) 146, 152. 
Mails via Fort McPherson for Fort 
Yukon, (ii) 169, 195, 196. 
" Magdalena " — Captain Amundsen's 

training on, (i) 5. 
Magician's sign presented to Captain 
Amundsen by lame Eskimo boy, 

(ii) 79- 
Magito, Eskimo — Belle of Ogchoktu — 
Daughter of Navya — white man's 

fascination for, (i) 278. 
Ill-treatment by husband, (i) 318. 

Magnetic conditions on King William^ 

Land — Magnetic and surveying 

expeditions, Eskimo accompanying 

expeditions, etc., (i) 190. 
Achliechtu and Achlieu Islands,, charts 

made and magnetic observations 

investigated, (i) 199, 200. 
Adolf Schmidt's Hill or St. John's Hill 

Station, (i) 209. 
Boat expeditions, (i) 222-7, 228. 
Circle of magnetic stations round head 

station, establishment of, (i) 203-212. . 
East coast, establishing station as far 
. north as could be got — boating trip 

and its results, (i) 228-33. 
Kaa-aak-ka, arrival at — survey and 

magnetic observations carried out, 

(i) 200, 226. 
Nordhogda, arrival at, (i) 206. 
Nordligste Nordhoi (Farthest North 

Hill), arrival at, 205. 
Schwatka Bay — course set towards, (i) 

Termination of summer expedition, (i) 

Tyataa-arlu (Point Luigi d'Abruzzi) — 

observations made, (i) 203. 
Magnetic instruments — 
Provision of, (i) 6. 
Stopping — preparing for departure frpm 

Gjoahavn, (ii) 78. 
Magnetic observations — 
Beechey Island — route to North West 

Passage determined, (i), 49. 
Doubt as to observatories being too near 

the ship — further observations made 

which removed question of doubt, 

(ii) 55- 
Error in laying down field magnet 

necessitating repetition of work, (i) 

King Point — observations taken, (ii) 

Magnetic North Pole — 
Cape Adelaide — magnetic pole of James 

Ross, (i) 61. 
Line of variation from the true North 

to South Line determined, (i) 97. 
Nearing — ^sea-sickness among members 

of the Expedition, (i) 62. 
Obtaining exact data as to — first and 

foremost object of Captain Amund- 
, sen, (i) 5, 80. 
Passing over both old and new Poles, 

(i) 185. 
Photograph given by Professor Neu- 
mayer to be placed as near as pos- 
sible to — reasons why not deposited, 
(ii) 81. . 



Magnetic North Pole (coiif. ) — 

Ross's, J. C. , Expedition — position of 
Pole found and determined by, (ii) 

Station for obtaining exact data — suit- 
ability of Gjoahavn for a fixed mag- 
netic station, (i) 80, 83, 93. 
Magnetic stations — building of observa- 
tories, etc. — 

Absolute magnetic observations, obser- 
vatory for — building constructed of 
' snow, etc., (i) 107, 108. 

Amundsen's, Captain, observatory, (i) 

Astronomical observatory — " Uranien- 
borg," last of series of buildings to 
be built, (i) 112. 
Alterations and improvements — Rist- 
vedt's arrangements for comfort, (i) 
260, 263. 

First station, placing on Matty Island — 
observations taken, etc., (i) 182, 183. 

King Point, (ii) 147, 151, 170, 173. 
Magnetic observatory — converted into 

mausoleum for Wiik, (ii) 200. 
Mark showing position of magnetic 
instruments stand, (ii) 209. 

" Magnet " Villa — house in which Rist- 
vedt and Wiik were to live, descrip- 
tion of building, etc., (i) 99, 109, 
no. III. 
Eskimo visit — Ristvedt and Wiik's 

surprise, (i) 119. 
Improvements made, (i) 235. 
Pulling down on departure from Gjoa- 
havn, (ii) .66. 

Termination of sojourn at Gjoahavn — 
dismantling of observatories, (ii) 66, 

Variation House — -utilising outer cases 
of provision chests, choice of site, 
etc., (i) 97. 
Photograph given by Professor Neu- 
mayer buried on site of, (ii) 81. 

Winter observatory constructed — ice 
windows let into igloo, (i) 282. 
Magnetism — terrestrial magnetism and 
the use of magnetic instruments 
explained, (i) 84-93. 

Chart I — lines drawn which show direc- 
tion of compass needle at every point 
of the earth's surface, (i) 85, 86. 

Chart Il^direction of magnetic force in 
relation to "horizontal plane," (i) 
86, 87. 

Chart III — showing idea of value of 
horizontal intensity, (i) 89. 

Self-registering magnetic variation appa- 
ratus, (i) 90, 91, 

Magnetism (cont.) — 
Variation diagrams — examples of, (i) 92. 
Maguire, Cape — ice encountered, (i) 60. 
American whalers at Herschel Island — :, 
mail carrying to Fort Yukon — ■ ■ 
Darrell's, Mr., achievement, (ii) , 

Mogg, Captain, and Captain Amund- 
sen's trip — 
Decision of Captain Amundsen to 
take post-journey, (ii) 169. 
Letters written and departure of 

Captain Amundsen, (ii), 177. 
for details of journey, refe?- to title ' 

Herschel Island. 
refer also to title Communicating with 
from the outside world. 
Manichya, Eskimo, (ii) 205, 206, 272. 
" Manik-tu-mi," Eskimo, (i) 116. 
Manni, Eskimo employed on board the 
"Gjoa," (ii) 113, 115, 116, 142, 

Character — love of hunting, etc., (ii) 

Cold and htiemorrhage of the nose 

suffered by, (ii) 160. 
Educating — teaching to read and write, 

(ii) 176, 190, 205. 
Leaving the " Gjoa " — Manni's decision 
to remain among Eskimo, (ii) 
Deplorable result — return of Manni to 
the " Gjoa," (ii) 206. 
Shooting ducks at Herschel Island — 
Manni drowned, (ii) 266, 269. 
Manning Point — passing of the "Gjoa," 

(ii) 274. 
Markham Strait, (ii) 359, 360. 
Matheson, Mount, (i) 78, 79, 180, 182, 

203, 230. 
Matty Island, (i) 159, 173. 
Magnetic station, placing first station, 

(i) 182. 
Making for, (i) 62, 67. 
Stranding of the " Gjoa " near little 
island to the north of, (i) 68. 
Meat, supply of, see title Reindeer. 
Melville Bay- 
Most dreaded stretch in that part of 

Arctic Ocean, (i) 34. 
Voyage across, (i) 34, 39. 
Members of Expedition — 
Front and back view, (i) 152, 153. 
Names and qualifications, (i) 10-13. 
{For particular members refer to their 
Meteorological instruments, fixing at 
King Point, (ii) 173. 


2 C 2 


Meteorological observations — 
Hardships besetting astronomer in Polar 

regions, (i) 124. 
King Point — observations taken at, (ii) 

Taking observations — zeal and devotion 

of, Ristvedt, (i) 124. 
Testing instruments, (i) 144. 
Work started at " Fixed Station "—self 
registering magnetic instruments 
fixed, (i) 123. 
Mikkelsen's, Mr., expedition, (ii) 271. 
Welcoming the "Gjoa" at Barrow 
Point, (ii) 282. 
Miles Islands — more islands than marked 

on map, etc., (ii) 121. 
Milne and Adams — Scotch whalers, (i) 

22, 39, 41. 
Minto Inlet, Prince Albert Land, (n) 

Missionaries met with at Herschel Island, 
etc. — 
Fraser, Mr. — visit to the "Gjoa" at 

King Point, (ii) 146, 152. 
Whittaker, Mr., Captain Amundsen's 
visit to, (ii) 166, 188, 190. 
Mogg, captain of the wrecked whaler 
" Bonanza," (ii) 138, 169, 170, 173. 
Meeting with at Barrow Point, (ii) 

Trip with Captain Amundsen to Eagle 
City, (ii) 212-5, 222, 231, 232, 233, 
234, 237, 239, 240, 241, 
Moltke, Count — member of Danish 
Literary Expedition to Greenland, 
meeting between Moltke and Captain 
Amundsen (i), 41, 42. 
" Monterey," (ii) 282. 
Months of the year — Eskimo's mode of 

reckoning time, (ii) 45-7. 
Moodie, Major — chief commander of the 
"Arctic," etc., letter to Captain 
Amundsen, (ii) 70. 
Moon-light, intensity of, (ii) 23. 
Moon and stars — inhabiting after death 

— Eskimo's belief, (i) 320 ; (ii) 48. 
Moss, refer to Reindeer Moss. 

Nalungia, wife of Eskimo, (i) 298, 

Domestic life — romance, etc., attached 

to marriage, (i) 31 1, 313. 
Fear of white men, etc., (i) 256. 
Needles, beads, etc., presented to, (ii) 

Snow-hut construction — woman's part 

in (ii) 5, 7- 

Nansen, Dr. Fridtjof- — 
Amundsen's Captain, project submitted 
to — Nansen's approval, etc., (i) 5, 6. 
Greenland expedition — return of Nan- 
sen, rejoicings at Christiania, (i) 4. 
Nansen, Cape — point reached by sledge 
expedition to Victoria Land, (ii) 

Navya, Eskimo widow — 

Children of — tragedy surrounding her 
life, etc., (i) 278. 

Needlewoman on board the "Gjoa" 
during sojourn at Gjoahavn, (ii) 79. 

Navyato — " Hunger Bay," (i) 247. 

Description of^ — most beautiful spot on 
American North Coast, (i) 252. 

Eskimo camp visited by Captain 
Amundsen which he named " Hotel 
Filing Hill," (i) 250, 251, 252. 
Return of Captain Amundsen with 
sledges laden with fish, (i) 257. 

Franklin expedition, remains found of 
skeletons, etc. — name Hunger Bay 
arising from, (i) 252, 255. 

Salmon caught at, (ii) 94. 

Nechilli Eskimo tribe, refer to Eskimo. 

Needles, refer to Sewing Needles. 

Neiu, Eskimo, (ii) 202, 251. 

Nelson Head on Baring Land, mistaken 
for Cape Parry, (ii) 124, 125. 

Neumayer, Professor Dr. G. von — 
instruction of Captain Amundsen 
previous to expedition, (i) 5. 

Neumayer Peninsula, (i) 79, 180. 
Photograph given by Professor Neu- 
mayer buried on, (ii) 81. 
Work of charting, (i) 188, 

Nielsen, Governor of Godhavn — welcome 
and assistance rendered to the 
expedition (i), 26, 29. 

Night — Polar sunlit night, (i) 317, 329. 

Nome, arrival of the " Gjoa " at — recep- 
tion accorded the expedition, (ii) 
291, 292. 

Nordenskjold ■ — North East Passage 
achieved by, (i) 2. 

Nordenskjold Islands — christening, map 
made by Lieutenant Hansen, etc., 
(ii) 117, 120, 360. 

Nordhogda magnetic station — description 
of surroundings, (i) 206. 

Nordligste Nordhoi (farthest north hill) 
— high summit N.N.W. of Schwatka 
Bay christened — description of sur- 
roundings, etc., (i) 205. 

North American Eskimo, refer to title 

North East Passage — achievements of 
Nordenskjold, (i) 2. 


North Somerset Island, (i) 56, 140. 
North West Passage — 
Achievements of previous expeditions 

in the direction of solving problem, 

(ii) 102-6. 
First discoverer — Franklin expedition, 

{'}) 49- 
*'Gjoa" achievements — vessel sighted 

and North West Passage accom- 
plished, (ii) 120, 125. 
Celebrating — first cup drank on board 

the " Gjoa," (ii) 286. 
Unnavigated portion of North West 

Passage — fixing in accordance with 

information obtained from Eskimo 

of the finding of one of Franklin's 

ships, (ii) 61. 
Northern Commercial Ccjmpany, (ii) 

Northern Lights seen, (ii) 170, 225, 

Northernmost spot inhabited by civilised 

men, (i) 34. 
Northumberland House— name given to 

building erected on Beechey Island 

by Pullen, (i), 50. 
Norway Bay,' (ii) 347. 
Novo Terro, (i) 252. 
Nulieiu, Eskimo, (i) 310, 319; (ii) 42. 
Nygaard, Cape, (ii) 345. 

Object of the "Gjoa" Expedition, (i) 

. 5- 
Object of penetrating the Arctic Region, 

Ogchoktu, refer to Gjoahavn. 
Ogle Point — land seen not Ogle Point, 

but an island, though not charted by 

M'Clintock, (i) 99. 
Ogluli Eskimo tribe, refer to Eskimo. 
Ogluli Sea — investigation showing num- 
ber of islands, (ii) 86. 
Ogluli seals — large and powerful species, 

methods of catching, etc., (ii) 42. 
Oil stove used by the Expedition, refer to 

" Primus." 
" Olga " — American whaler — 
Arrival at Herschel Island, (ii) 272. 
Rumours concerning loss of, (ii) 170. 
Onaller, Eskimo wife, (i) 194. 
Outfit, refer to Clothing. 
Ovidias, Mount — easily recognised point 

on coast of Victoria Land, (ii) 356. 
*' Owl " — nickname of Ugpi or Uglen, 

Eskimo, (i) 190, 220, 222 ; (ii) 19. 
Broken collar-bone treated by Captain 

Amundsen, (ii) 57. 

"Owl" {cont.)— 
Hunting expedition with Captain 

Amundsen, (i) 241. 
Kamiglu, meeting the " Owl " at, 

(ii) 114, 115. 
Position held by wife — acting as boot- 
jack, etc., (i) 314. 
Return to Gjoahavn, (i) 237. 
Thefts by Ogluli Eskimo — services 
rendered by the " Owl," (i) 281, 286. 
Owls — peace of Polar sunlight night dis- 
turbed by, (i) 329. 
Owl's nest — lemmings found in, at Nord- 

ligste Nordhoi, (i) 206. 
Oyara, Eskimo and his wife Alo-Alo — 
exchange of wife incident, (i) 308, 

" Pacific shoal," (ii) 276. 

Palander Strait — christening, (ii) 119. 

" Pancake ice " — ice so called, (i) 53. 

" Pandora" — Sir A. Young's Expedition, 
(i) 51. 58. 

Pandora, Eskimo wife — married life of, 
(i) 307, 308. 

Parasites — North Greenland Eskimo 
notorious for, (i) 117. 

Parry, E. — North West Passage Expe- 
dition, results, (ii) 103. 

Parry, Cape — Nelson Head mistaken for, 
(ii) 124, 125. 

Parry Skerry — wrongly marked on chart, 

(i) 33- 
Peary Expedition, (i) 45. 
Peel River and Porcupine River, moun- 
tains between, (ii) 195, 196. 
Peel Sound, (i) 55. 
Pelly, Mount — landmark mentioned by 

Collinson, (ii) 120. 
Pelly Point, (ii) 299. 
Pemmican — 
Preparation of, for the Expedition, (i) 

Unsuitable provision for sledge trips — 

Captain Mogg's opinion, (ii) 213. 
Value of, as food for Arctic Explora- 
tions, (i) 284. 
Peter Anker, Cape, (ii)345. 
Petersen's Bay, (i) 79 ; (ii) 306, 361. 
Petroleum — 
Amount taken on board, etc. (i) 18, 29, 

44, 45- 
Thermometer, petroleum acting as, (i) 
Petroleum casks turned into dog kennel, 

(i) 228. 
Pfeffer River — trip to collect fossils, (ii) 



Photography — development of plates, (i) 


Planning and executing " Gjoa " Expedi- 
tion — . 
Achievements of previous Expeditions, 
which -were of the greatest value, (ii) 
1 02. 
Voyages and explorers' achievements, (ii) 
Poieta, Eskimo, (i) 251, 256. 
Domestic life — romance, etc., attached 

to marriage, (i) 311, 313. 
Guide of sledge expedition on way to 
Matty Island, (i) 172, 173, 174. 
Porcupine River, (ii) 195, 196, 232, 233, 

Potatoes — Herschel Island product, (ii) 

Praederik, Eskimo — conjuring and sor- 
cery practised by Praederik and his 
wife, (ii) 18, 19, 20. 
Prescott Island in Franklin Strait— point 
at which needle of compass refused 
to act — steering by stars resorted to, 

" Primus " stove used by the Expedition, 
(i) 134, 135, 230, 243, 246. 
Bread baking by means of, (ii) 149. 
. Explosion — accident to Lindstrom, (ii) 

Utilising fire-proof bricks brought from 

Godhavn for constructing new stove 

incident, (i) 269. 
Prince Albert Land, west coast of — 

examined by CoUinson's Expedition, 

(ii) 105. 
Prince of Wales, Cape, sighted, (ii) 285. 
Prince of Wales Land, (i) 56. 
Princess Ingeborg's Island, (ii) 359. 
Provisions, refer to title Stores and Pro- 
Ptarmigan, shooting, (i) 105, 186, 199, 

200, 203 ; (ii) 52, 62, 144, 187, 311, 

319, 321, 333> 340. 
, Pullen, Commander — Chart made at 
Beechey Island in 1854, (i) 49. 
Puyalu, Eskimo wife, (i) 238, 241. 

Queen Maud's Sea — ice conditions, etc., 
(ii), 117. 

Rae, Dr.— 
" Land seen by Rae," refer to title, 

Victoria Strait. 
News of the region where Franklin 
Expedition was lost,_brought by, (i) 

Rae, Dr. {cont.) — 
North- Eastern America Explorations- — 

results, (ii) 105, 106. 
Rae Mount, (ii) 321. 
Rae Strait, (i) 78, 79 ; (ii) 106. 
" Rae's Cairn " Island, (ii) 357. 
Rampart house on Porcupine. River — 
Cadzow, Mr. D. — hospitality shown' to 

Captain Amundsen, (ii) 249. 
Darrell, Mr., meeting with, (ii) 195, 

Rasmussen, Knut, (i) 41. 
Raven seeri — appearance indicating 

spring, etc., (i) 182 ; (ii) 186. 
Reindeer — 
Cape Christian Frederik — reindeer seen, 

Drying meat as means of keeping, (ii) 

Fat and well nourished, (i) 248. 
Hunting expeditions — number of rein- 
deer shot, etc., (i) 241. 
Amundsen's, Captain, and the " Owl's" 

expedition — results, etc., (i) 241. 
Eskimo hunting, description of — 
division of booty between two hunt- 
ing parties, etc., (i) 326-9. 
Eta, Island of — fortnight's expedition 

and its results, (i) 97, 99. 
King Point, (ii) 175, 179, 189, 192. 
Lund and Hansen's expedition towards 

the west of Gjoahavn, (i) 247. 
Patience and endurance in hunting 
reindeer in region of King William 
Land, (i) 103. 
Soft grey hat — engineer's fixed idea 

that it brought luck, (i) 104. 
Transport — trying work of bringing 
the game in, etc. (i) 103, 105. 
King William Land — herds of reindeer 
observed crossing the Sound to 
mainland, (i) 102, 104. 
, Leanness of — probably due to want of 
food, (i) 106. 
Rifle used for shooting — Krag-Jorgensen 

rifle, (i) 106 ; (ii) 192. 
Shooting — supply of meat by Eskimo, 
etc., (i) 83, 84, 201, 233, 235, 248 ; 
(ii) no, 198. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land, (ii) 
, 31 1-4, 322. 
Reindeer marrow as dessert, (i) 170, 
Reindeer moss — 
Joy at sight of moss and bare spots of 
earth on Hovgaard's Islands, (i) 199. 
Parched moss showing warm summer at 

Gjoahavn, (i) 83. 
Tyataa-arlu — moss and small lakes 
found, (i) 203. 



Reindeer sinews — thread used by the 
Eskimo women, (i) 305, 328 ; (ii) 
14, 15. _ 

Reindeer skinsy refer to Skins. 

Reindeer tongues — 
Gifts from Eskimo, (i) 170, 171. 
In praise of, (i) 203. 

Reindeer tripe as food, (i) 289. 

Richardson Islands — passing of the 
"Gjoa," (ii) 121. 

•Richardson, Point, (i) 252. 
Sledge trip to islands in Simpson Strait 
discovered which were christened 
after Commander Hovgaard, (ii) 

Ristvedt, Peder — member of expedition, 

(i) 13- 
Duties performed by, (i) 29. 
Improvements to astronomical observa- 
tory — arrangements for comfort, (i) 

260, 263. 
Journey to Herschel Island to consult 

doctor, (ii) 180. 
Meteorological observations carried out 

by — hardships endured, etc., (i) 

Pemmican for the Expedition prepared 

by, (i) 10. 
Sledge expedition to Victoria Land — 

services rendered, (ii) 297, 311, 312, 

3i3> 322. 
Tobacco chewing habit, (ii) 187. 
Veterinary surgeon qualifications, (i) 


Ristvedt River, (i) 207, 238. 

Ritchie's, E. S. , floating compass — ex- 
cellent compass, (i) 55. 

Roksi, Eskimo, (ii) 146, 152. 

Ross, James — 
Chart — land marked as an island which 
proved to be part of mainland of 
Boothia, (i) 63. 
Magnetic North Pole of, (i) 61 ; (ii) 

Ross, Sir John — expeditions, results, 
etc. ; (i) 292 ; (ii) 103, 104. 

Route to magnetic pole — magnetic obser- 
vations taken at Beechey Island, 
determining, (i) 49. 

Royal Danish Greenland Trading Com- 
pany — 
Assistance rendered to the Expedition, 

(i) 29. 
Treatment of Greenland Eskimo — 
example to other nations, (ii) 51. 

Royal Geographical Society Island, (ii) 

61, 86. 
Groups of islands north of Markham 
Strait christened, (ii) 360. 

Royal North West Mounted Police, 
{ii) 179, 188. 

Rum as a pick-me-up on sledge expedi- 
tions, (ii) 307, 308, 309. 

Rydberg, Director of Royal Danish 
Greenland Trading Company — - 
assistance rendered to the Expedi- 
tion, (i) 29. 

Sabine, Cape, (ii) 250. 
" Gjoa " anchored, and expedition goes 
on shore — description of land, (ii) 

Saeland Valley — Eskimo encampment, 

Sails of the "Gjoa" — preserving during 

winter, (i) 209. 
St. John's Hill or Adolf Schmidt's Hill, 

(i) 209. 
Salmon — 
Fishing by the Eskimo, (i) 317. 
Number caught in Hunger Bay, (i) 252, 

Smoke-drying experiment at Gjoahavn, 

(ii) 94. 
Supply of, to the Expedition by the 

Eskimo, (ii) 94, refer also to title 

Salmon Creek — arrival of mail expedi- 
tion from Plerschel Island to Fort 

Yukon (ii), 239. 
Saunder Island — farewell to Danish 

Literary Expedition, (i) 45. 
Schmidt, Professor Adolphus, (i) 93. 
Schwatka Bay, (i) 79, 229, 233, 241. 
Description of, (i) 204. 
Ice hut building, (i) 243. 
Schwatka Expedition, (i) 293. 
Scoresby, W., junior, (ii) 103. 
Scotch whalers, refer to Whale Hunting. 
Sea-fowl seen off Cape Belcher, (ii) 285. 
Sea-sickness — nearing Magnetic Pole, 

sea-sickness among members of the 

Expedition, (i) 62. 
Seal bladders — number inflicted on the 

Expedition by Eskimo women, 

(ii) 64. 
Seal flippers as food, (i) 204, 
Seal liver as a delicacy, (i) 23. 
Seal meat fried in oil — favourite dish, (i) 

Seals — 
Catching seals by Eskimo — 
Amundsen, Captain, joins Eskimo 

hunting party, (i) 177. 
Commencement of season, custom as 

to, (ii) 23. 



, Seals (cont.) — 
Catching seals by Eskimo (coni.) — 
Date of commencement of fishing — 

superstitions, (i) 277 ; (ii) 27. 
Division of hunting grounds between 

different tribes, (ii) 45. 
Festival held in order to propitiate 

the powers to induce good catch, 

(ii) 23-7. 
Methods — implements used, outfit, 

etc., (ii) 27-44, 333-5. 
Number caught off King William Land, 

(i) 177- 
Peculiarity about seals at King Point, 

(ii) 207. 
Return of sealers — method of dealing 
with seal flesh and skins, etc., (i) 
189 ; (ii) 40, 41. 
Fresh meat enjoyed by the Expedition, 

(i) 22, 23. 
Sherard Head and Cape Court, seals 

shot between, (i) 57. 
Small species met with in Nechilli's 

hunting field — reasons, (ii) 42. 
Victoria Land Expedition, seals caught 

— blubber eaten, etc., (ii) 358. 
Von Betzold Point, Eskimo settlement 

on, (i) 189. 
Sealskin clothing, refer to titles Clothing 

and Skins. 
Sewing for members of the Expedition — 
Eskimo woman's services on board 
the "Gjoa," (ii) 79. 
Sewing needles — 
Bartering with Eskimo — needles ex- 
changed for skins, (i) 120. 
Gifts to Eskimo — special value set on 
needles, (i) 120 170, 172, 316. 
Sexe, Captain Asbjorn — owner of the 

Sherard Head — first large accumulation 

of ice encountered, (i) 56. 
Shingle Point, (ii) 145, 189. 
Shooting expeditions, refer to title Rein- 
Simpson, Cape — ice encountered, (ii) 277. 
Simpson Strait, (i) 79, 97, 104, 252, 

299, 319, 325, 361. 
Ice conditions, (i) 80, 215 ; (ii) 99. 
Islands discovered during sledge trip to 
Port Richardson and christened after 
Commander Hovgaard, (ii) 296. 
Soundings taken — 
Narrowest portion between Eta Island 

and the coast, (i) 225. 
Sea bottom consisting of stone and 
clay, (ii) 107. 
Simpson and Dease Expedition — result, 
(ii) 104. 

Ski, use of — 
Eskimo accompanied by Captain 

Amundsen on ski, (i) 120, 121. 
Relative value of ski and snow-shoes as 
means of transport — journey from 
Herschel Island to Fort Yukon, (ii) 
2i8, 224, 225, 234. 
Skins — -reindeer and sealskins — 
Bartering with Eskimo — sewing needles 

exchanged for skins, (i) 120. 
Clothing made of, refer to title Cloth- 
Process of dressing among Eskimo, (i) 

Tents, skins covering Eskimo tents — 
significance of sealskin tents, (i) 
298, 325- 
Uses to which skins were put among 
Eskimo, (i) 324, 325. 
Sledge expeditions — 
Hansen's, Lieutenant, first expedition — 
taking magnetic observations at 
Kaa-aak-ka, (i) 285. 
Herschel Island to Eagle City, Captain 
Amundsen's post journey with 
Captain Mogg, see title Herschel 
Towards the Pole — 
Preparation and equipment for first 
e_xpedition from Gjoahavn, (i) 
Camp pitched — building of snow-hut, 
etc., (i) 150-3. 
Dogs let loose — fights among dogs, 
etc., (i) 151, 155. 
Speed indicator applied to dog sledge 
— old apparatus from " Fram " 
Expedition, (i) 156. 
Starting of the expedition, (i) 150. 
Unfavourable conditions- — difficulties 
of making headway over drift-snow, 
etc., (i) 150, 156. 
Turning back to wait for milder 
weather, (i) 156. 
Second expedition — more favourable 
conditions, etc., (i) 158. 
Dep6t, placing under charge of 

Eskimo, (i) 174. 
Dogs — 
Fight with Eskimo dogs, (i) 162. 
Loan of dogs by Eskimo, (i) 171, 
Eskimo tribe met with — Nechilli 
Eskimo — reception given to Cap- 
tain Amtindsen, exchange of gifts 
and hospitality, etc., (i) 160-72. 
Another Eskimo camp encountered 
— inferior character of the Nechilli 
Eskimo, (i) 173. 



Sledge expeditions {cont.) — 
Towards the Pole {cont. ) — 
Second expedition {cont. ) — 
Snow-hut, building of — Eskimo's 
hilarity at Captain Amundsen's and 
Hansen's work, (i) 164. 
Snow-hut with its depot found in 

good order, (i) 158. 
Tent in place of snow-hut, experience, 

ji) 159- 
Third expedition — pushing forward to 
Leopold Harbour, (i) 180. 
Cape Hardy on Matty Island reached 
and magnetic station placed, etc., 
(i) 182. 
Return to Gjoahavn — results of ex- 
pedition, etc., (i) 186, 187. 
Victoria Land Expedition, refer to title 
Sledges — 
New sledge constructed by Sten for 

post expedition, (ii) 175, 177. 
Provision of, by Inspector Daugaard- 

Jensen, (i) 29. 
Sails, sledge carrying, met with on way 
to Herschel Island, (ii) 177. 
Sledging by Eskimo, mode of harnessing 

dogs, etc., (ii) 152, 155. 
Sleeping bags — preparing for sledge ex- 
pedition — best design of bag, (i) 140, 
Smith Bay, (ii) 277. 
Smith, Mr. F. N. — hospitality to Captain 

Amundsen at Eagle City, (ii) 246. 
Snadde Hill, (ii) 306. 
Snow-blindness, risks of, (i) 196. 
Snow bunting, first seen on sledge expe- 
dition to Victoria Land, (ii) 319. 
Snow-huts, refer to Huts. 
Snow-shoes — 
Expedition to Navyato on, (i) 251. 
Relative value of snow-shoes and ski as 
means of transport — ^journey from 
Herschel Island to Fort Yukon, (ii) 
218, 224, 225, 234. 
Soundings taken — 
Barrow Point, (ii) 282. 
De la Guiche Point on American main- 
land, (i) 77, 78. 
Dundas Islands, (i) 77. 
Eta Strait, (ii) 116. 
. Flaxman Islands, off, (ii) 275. 
'Gjoahavn, (i) 80, 83. 
Herschel Island — narrow sound between 

island and coast, (ii) 259. 
Matty Island, off, (i) 67, 68. 
Rae Straits, (i) 79. 
- Sabine, Cape, (ii) 137. 
Simpson Strait, (i) 225 ; (ii) 107. 

Soundings taken {cont.) — 
Victoria Strait, westward of, (ii) 118, 

Spitsbergen deer, condition of in summer, 

Spring — - 
First spring — absence of spring weather, 

(i) 188. 
Indications of — 
King Point — arrival of a raven, (ii) 

Tracks of animals returning north, (ii) 

52- . . 

Second spring — signs which promised 

well for summer, (i) 290. 
Stanley Island, (i) 78, 79. 
Stars and moon — inhabiting after death — 

Eskimo belief, (i) 320 ; (ii) 48. 
Starting of the Expedition, date of — 

leave-taking at Christiania, etc., (i) 

Steamer first used in Arctic Ocean — 
" Victory " of John Ross Expedition, 
(ii) 104. 
Steen, Aksel S. — Captain Amundsen's 

project submitted to, (i) 5. 
Steering by stars — point at which com- 
pass refused to act, (i) 57* 
Steffensen, Mr., (ii), 271. 
Sten, Christian, meeting with at King 
Point, (ii), 138. 
Exchange of tinned provisions, (ii) 141. 
Friendship between Lindstrom and 

Sten, (ii) 186. 
House, building of, at King Point, (ii) 

144, 156. 
Theft of dry fish by Eskimo incident, 
(ii) 174, 175- 
"Store Hellefishbank " (Big Halibut 
Bank) — icebergs encountered, (i) 26. 
Stores and provisions — 
American and Norwegian tinned pro- 
visions exchanged at King Point, (ii) 
Amount of provisions, etc.- — five years 
supply packed in the " Gjoa," (i) 
Bread and bread making refer to title 

Cases forming deck-cargo thrown over- 
board on stranding of the " Gjoa, 
(ii) 69, 74. 
Dalrymple Rock — stores deposited by 
Scotch whalers, Milne and Adams, 

(i) 39. 41. 
Transport of stores on board the 
" Gjoa," (i) 42. 
Flour supplied to American whalers at 
Herschel Island, (ii) 180. 



Stores and provisions {cont. ) — 
/ Godhavri, dogs, sledges, etc., provided 
at, (i) 29. 
Hermetically sealed goods tested and 
examined by Professor S. Torup, (i) 
, Meat and fish' — procuring for the Expe- 
dition, refer to titles Fish and Rein- 
Pemmican — indispensable provision for 
Arctic explorations, etc., (i) 10, 284 ; 
(ii) 213. 
Taking on shore at Gjoahavn — con- 
struction of aeriar ropeway, etc., (i) 

93> 94- 
Departure from Gjoahavn, preparation 
for, getting stores on board, etc. , 
in) 65, 76, 77. 
Stoves for cooking purposes, etc. — 
Additional stove taken from the 

" Bonanza," (ii) 143, 148. 
" Primus " stove used by the Expedi- 
tion, refer to that title. 
" Sugarloaf," (i) 24. 
Summer — 
Gjoahavn, summer at, (i) 201, 228, 236, 

Glorious and brief, (i) 329. 

Most beautiful season — middle of June, 

Unreliable — rain and sleet in August, 
- (i) 228. 
Sun as compass, (i) 60. 
Sunday Hill — magnetic station erected, 


Surveying expeditions, refer to title Mag- 
netic Conditions of King William 
Land, also names of places. 

Sutton Islands — passing of the " Gjoa," 
(ii) 123. 

Svarteklid, (ii) 306. 

Svartheia (Black Mountain), (ii) 361. 

Sverdrup, Cape — point christened by 
members of Victoria Land Expedi- 
tion, (ii) 347. 

Swan Hill — magnetic station erected, (i) 

Swimming — no knowledge of among 
Eskimo, (ii) 91, 268. 

Swimming bath at Gjoahavn — Hansen 
and Lund taught to swim, (ii) 91. 

Talurnakto, Eskimo — employed by Cap- 
tain Amundsen, character, etc.; (i) 
190, 194, 220, 222, 225, 228, 229, 
230, 233, 267, 268, 271 ; (ii) 47, 
107, 305, 319- 

Talurnakto, -Eskimo (cont. ) — 
Accompanying Expedition homewards 
proposal, Talurnakto's distress at 
thought of leaving his native country 
— place oh board filled by Tonnich, 
(ii) 91^4. 
Black eye inflicted by on Atikleura, (ii) 

Costume — gift from Wiik, (ii) 65. 
Elopement escapade and its results, (i) 

Expedition into the interior with Lind- 
strom joke, (ii) 88. 
. Gifts presented to, previous to the 
departure from Gjoahavn, (ii) 78. 
Gun presented to, by Lieutenant 

Hansen — bursting incident, (ii) 63. 
Ice-hut building, (i) 331. 
Kjiife belonging to the "Gjoa," appro- 
priating — punishment, (ii) 82. 
Lodged on board the " Gjoa " — snoring 
proclivities, etc., (ii) 54. 
Tamoktuktu, Eskimo — 
Ice-hut inhabited by. Captain Amund- 
sen's visit to, (i) 237. 
Return visit to Gjoahavn, (i) 241. 
Theft on board the " Gjoa," (i) 282. 
Tasmania Islands, (i) 60, 185. 
Tattooing among Eskimo, (ii) 79. 
Tayler Island, (ii) 358. 
Tent Circles — 
Atikleura's tent, description of Circle 

round, (i) 298. 
Traces of Eskimo habitation — 
Cape Christian Frederik, (i) 76. 
Gjoahavn, (i) 83. 

Number found on King William Land, 
(i) 298. 
Eskimo tents — 
Description of model Tent made of 

sealskins, (i) 298, 325. 
Doorway difficulty — ingenious contriv- 
ance for keeping out snow, etc., (i) 

Fires, lighting — superstition as to, (i) 

331. 333- 
Protecting from snow storms by 
erecting snow walls, (i) 334. 
Kind of tents — ^preference for three pole 

triangular tent, (i) 220, 221. 
Preparing for sledge expedition, (i) 141. 
Superiority of snow-huts over, in 
matters of warmth, etc., (i) 159. 
Teraiu, Eskimo family, (i) 293 ; (ii) 60. 
Desertion by tribe, Captain Amund- 
sen's hospitality, (i) 131-8, 179. 
Snow-huts, building by Teraiu — 
rewards for, etc., (i) 143, I45» 



Teraiu, Eskimo family (cotit. ) — 
Theft from board the "Gjoa," (i) 282. 
Visit to " Gjoahavn " to get medicine, (i) 


Terrestrial magnetism, i-efer to Mag- 

"Terror "and "Erebus" of Franklin's 
Expedition, (i) 47, 

" The Arctic" — Investigating conditions 
jound, letters from Major Moodie 
and Captain Bernier to Captain 
Amundsen, (ii) 70. 

Theodolite for geographical observations 
lent by Dr. Nansen, (i) 144. 

Thermometer, petroleum acting as, (i) 

" Thetis " American Revenue Cutter, (ii) 

Exchange of courtesies between the 

" Thetis " and " Gjoa " incident, (ii) 

Thetis Islands — Passing of the " Gjoa," 

(ii) 276. 
Tilton, Captain of American whaler 

"Alexander," (ii) 136, 141, 163, 

164, 250, 252. 
refer also to " Alexander." 
Time, computation of, (ii) 45-7. 
Eskimo method, (ii) 45-7. 
Miscalculation by crew of the " Olga," 

(ii) 272. 
Tinned provisions, refer to titles Stores 

and Provisions. 
"Tins — scrambling for, by Eskimo women, 

Toboggan running, mode of — ^journey 

from Ilerschel Island to Fort 

Yukon, (ii) 230, 232, 237, 
Toboggans, packing, hints on, (ii) 230. 
Todd Island, (ii) 361, 362. 
Difficulties of getting through narrow 

channel, (ii) 104. 
Skeletons and other traces of Franklin's 

Expedition found here, (i) 257. 
Toker Point, (ii) 170. 
Tolimao, Eskimo seal catcher, (ii) 43. 
Tomachsina — religious services on Her- 

schell Island conducted by, (ii) 

Tonnich, Eskimo, (ii) 88. 
Taken on board the " Gjoa" as member 

of the Expedition, (ii) 92-4. 
Departure from the " Gjoa," (ii) 115. 
Torup, Professor Sofus — stores and pro- 
visions tested by, (i) 10. 
Tragedy of the Polar ice, (i) 3, 47, 

. " Treasure " — American whaler, (ii) 271, 

Trout fishing by Eskimo — supply of 

trout to the Expedition, etc., (i)2io, 

238, 317. 
Tungi — race of giants, ancient tradition 

among Eskimo tribe, (i) 321. 
Tyataa-arlu (Point Luigi d'Abruzzi), 

(i) 203. 

Uchyuneiu, Eskimo, (ii) 57. 
Information relating to Franklin Expe- 
dition, (ii) 61. 
Ugvi, Eskimo— theft from Expedition's 

store tent, (ii) 59. 
Umiktuallu, Eskimo — great seal hunter, 
etc., (i) 193, 316; (ii) 113, 115. 
Business instincts, (ii) 55, 56. 
Murder of foster-son, (i) 212, 221. 
Powder and shot exchange incident, 

(ii) 56. 
Reindeer and fish supplied by, (i) 267. 
Visit to Gjoahavn — news brought by, 
of white man seen near Coppermine 
River, etc., (i) 247. 
Unknown waters, sailing in, (i) 55- 
Commencement of task of the " Gjoa," 

Upernivik, (i) 34. 
Utkohikchyalli — Eskimo tribes and their 

boundaries, (i) 292. 

"Vega" Expedition, (i) 3 ; (ii) 119, 120. 
Victoria Harbour, (i) 185. 
Victoria Land — sledge expedition under- 
taken by Lieutenant Hansen, accom- 
panied by Ristvedt, for charting 
unknown western stretch of coast 
along M'Clintock Channel, (i) 283. 

Achievements of the Expedition, (ii) 85, 
86, 363. 

Bay that was completely land-locked 
which would make good winter 
harbour reached and christened 
" Greely Harbour," (ii) 353. 

Bears shot, (ii) 348-51, 355- 

Cairn built of slabs of limestone met 
with — nothing found inside, (ii) 339, 

Cairns erected, (ii) 342, 346, 348. 
Document left in cairn at Cape Nansen, 
(") 85, 355. 

Camping places, (ii) 306, 309, 328, 339, 

345> 347, 354, 356, 361. 
Campmg m the open, (n) 357, 359. 
Climatic conditions, (ii) 319, 336, 341, 

344, 345, 353- 



Victoria Land — sledge expedition, etc. 

{colli. ) — 
Departure of Expedition, (i) 290 ; (ii) 

300, 303-4. 
Depdt at Cape Crozier, contents of — 

dep6t robbed by bears, etc., (ii) 84, 

299, 3i7» 318. 
Distance — number of miles travelled, 

(ii) 363- 
Dogs, condition of — behaviour of dogs, 
etc., (ii) 306, 307, 311, 313, 322, 

323, 331. 334, 352, 353- 
Feet injured during thaw — footgear 

suggested, (ii) 361. 
Loss of dog, (ii) 360. 
Endurances necessitated by such an 

expedition, (ii) 362. 
Eskimo tribe met with— greetings and 

commodities exchanged, etc., (ii) 

84, 326-30. 
Fog encountered, (ii) 353, 354. 
. Food consumed during expedition, 

amount, nature of food, etc., (ii) 

318, 330, 344, 351. 
Fox shooting incident, (ii) 351. 
Groups of islands south of Bryde's 

Island and north of Markham 

Strait, (ii) 360. 
Hares, shooting, (ii) 357. 
Hills and slopes — heights rising to 

about 300 feet, etc., (ii) 338, 353. 
Ice conditions, hardships of sledge 

expeditions in Polar regions, (ii) 85, 

86, 309, 319, 320, 325. 
Return journey — better conditions, (ii) 

358, 361. 
Ice-ridge, formation of, (ii) 338. 
Independence Day kept as P'estival, (ii) 


Land, description of, (u) 353, 356, 357, 

Land sighted, (ii) 336, 338, 341. 
Latitude taking, (ii) 333, 335. 
Object of Expedition, date of starting — . 

duration of absence, etc., (ii) 299. 
Ptarmigan shooting, etc., (ii) 311, 319, 

321, 333, 340. 
Reindeer shooting — method, etc., (ii) 

31 1-4, 322. 
Dep6t of deers' meat established, (ii) 

Report presented to Captain Amundsen, 

(ii) 297. 
Return of Expedition — 
Starting on homeward journey, (11)354. 
Welcome accorded to Hansen and 

Ristvedt, etc., (ii) 83, 362. 
Rum — benefit of alcohol under certain 
conditions, (ii) 307, 308, 309. 

Victoria Land — sledge expedition, etc. 

{colli. ) — 
Runners — use of German silver runners, 

etc., (ii) 331. 
Seals secured, methods employed, (ii) 

.333-5, 358. 
Ski experiment, (ii) 321. 
Stores taken, (ii) 298. 

Exhaustion of, (ii) 359. 
Survey work, (ii) 85, 342, 344, 345, 

359, 363- 
Turning back — disappointment at not 

reaching Glenelg Bay, (ii) 354. 
Victoria Strait — 
Difficulties of navigation between Queen 

Maud's Sea and Victoria Strait (ii) 

Ice conditions, (ii) 120. 
Land seen by Dr. Rae investigated — 

islands charted, etc., (ii) 85, 299, 

319, 320, 336, 358, 359, 360. 
Passage across — difficulties encountered 

by sledge expedition, (ii) 84. 
" Victory " — Sir J. Ross's expedition, 

(i) 292. 
First steamer used in the Arctic Ocean, 

(ii) 104. 
Von Betzold's Point, (i) 79. 
Boat expedition — ice difficulties, (i) 


Walrus — first seen after leaving Green- 
land Coast, (ii) 284. 
Warrender, Cape, (i) 46. 
Water supply — 
Fire, danger of, at Gjoahavn — method 

of providing water, (i) 107, 249. 
Fresh water supply — 
Advantage of drift ice, (i) 36. 
Gjoahavn, (i) 83. 
Washing in salt water, (i) 21. 
Whale hunting — - 
American fleet — - 
Constitution of fleet of 1905 at 

Herschel Island, (ii) 257. 
Mails, refer to that title. 
Queer tales told of, (ii) 164, 165 {for 
particular boats, refer to their 
Dangers attending— number of lives 

lost, etc., (ii) 256. 
Eskimo — capable whalers, (ii) 143. 
First bowhead whale caught in Behring 

Sea, (ii) 257. 
Herschel Island, history of, in connec- 
tion with whale hunting, (ii) 255, 



Whale hunting (cont. ) — 
Mode of hunting, etc., (ii) 256, 257. 
Scotch whalers — 
Dangerous and difficult conditions of 

whaling in Melville Bay, (i) 34, 35. 
Milne and Adams, (i) 22. 
Stores deposited by at Dalrymple 
Rock, (i) 39, 41. 
Value of whalebone — uses to which it 
was put, etc., (ii) 256, 257. 
Whales, skeletons found — 
Abva, north side of, (ii) 232. 
Wiik's Hill, (i) 208. 
Whittaker, Mr. — Missionary at Herschel 
Island visited by Captain Amund- 
sen, etc., (ii) 166, 188. 
Arrival at King Point as guest of 
'qi-p' Captain Amundsen, (ii) 190. 
Wight, Dr. — Journey to the south in the 
"Gjoa," etc., (ii) 200, 250, 252, 
253, 265, 269. 
Wiik, Gustav Juel — Member of Expedi- 
tion, (i) 13. 
Duties performed by — Magnetic obser- 
vations, etc. , (i) 29, 49, 97, 123. 
Illness and death, (ii) 181-5. 
Communicating information to relatives 
— telegram which never reached its 
destination, (ii) 198. 
Grave— magnetic observatory con- 
verted into mausoleum — Funeral 
ceremony, etc.,(ii) 200. 
Departure from King Point of the 
"Gjoa" — flag lowered, etc., (ii), 
Wiik's Hill — beautiful campmg place, 

etc.,(i) 206,207. 
Willersted Lake — Eskimo tribes and 

their boundaries, (i) 292, 297. 
Winchester carbine — superiority of the 
Krag-Jorgensen over, for killing 
reindeer, (ii) 192. 
Winter — 
First winter at Gjoahavn, (i) loi. 
Second winter at Gjoahavn, (i) 236. 
Signs of commencement — flights of 

migrating birds, etc., (i) 236. 
Third winter at King Point — circum- 
stances enforcing, (ii) 145. 
for details to the winter quarters refer to 
titles Gjoahavn and King Point. 

WoUaston Land — examined by CoUirt- 

son's Expedition, (ii) 105. 
Driftwood, see that title. 
Hickory — green ash preferred to, as it 

was less brittle in Arctic regions, 

(i) 286. 
Wooden cases, use of, for constructing 

observatories, refer to Magnetic 

Stations, etc. 
Wynniat's (Collinson's Farthest), (ii) 307. 

Year — mode of computation of time by 

the Eskimo, (ii) 45-7- 
York, Cape — 
" Gjoa" anchored off", (ii) 291. 
Ice difficulties of voyage across Melville 
Bay, (i) 35- ^,. ,^ 

View of— fairyland scene as the " Gjoa 
passed through the fog, (i) 37. 
Young, Sir Allen — "Pandora" Expedi- 
tion, (i) 51, 58. 
Yukon, Fort — 
Mail Expedition from Herschel Island^ 
arrival of — Captain Amundsen dis- 
appointed with Fort Yukon, etc.,. 
(ii) 241, 
Mails for, via Fort McPherson, (n) 169,. 

Postal communication between Fort 
Yukon and Dawson City via Eagle 
City, (ii) 242. 

Zoological collection under control of 

Lindstrcim — • 
Additions to, (ii) 88, 90. 
Airing at King Point, (ii) 198. 
Depot built for, at King Point, (ii> 

Eider, loon, and geese eggs added, 

(i) 207. 
Mode of collecting — prizes off"ered to 

Eskimo, etc., (i) 209. 
Skin of reindeer buck specimens, (i> 

Trout — mother and young one, trick 

played on Lindstrom, (i) 216.